March 25, 2005

Victim: Priest must pay

Sacramento Bee

By Cynthia Hubert -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Friday, March 25, 2005

A Sacramento man who for years suffered abuse by a Roman Catholic priest on Thursday demanded justice and extradition of the pastor who last week was discovered still ministering in Mexico.

"I can't hide anymore," said Salvador Perez, 33, a soft-spoken state worker who spoke publicly for the first time and described the impact of the molestations on his life. In 1989, the Rev. Jose Luis Urbina was convicted of sexually molesting him.

Urbina, who admitted guilt, fled to Mexico to escape justice and for the past decade has been serving at his hometown parish in Navojoa.

Flanked at a news conference by his lawyer, Joseph George, and a female friend, Perez said Urbina began "hugging and fondling" him when he was 8 years old and an altar boy. The abuse escalated, he said, and continued for 10 years.

"We're talking about childhood through adolescence," he said. "It's difficult to describe the impact of something like that. You try to survive every day. Some days are good, some not so good."

Perez now is among 33 people who have filed lawsuits against the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento accusing clergy of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at March 25, 2005 07:30 AM