October 13, 2005

Priests sent to local parishes after abuse claims

Lompoc Record

By Quintin Cushner/Senior Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Archdiocese assigned two priests to northern Santa Barbara County parishes, even after the men were accused of sexually abusing children, documents released Wednesday revealed.

Though both men previously were named in civil suits filed by alleged victims of abuse, the documents were the first to show they had access to young parishioners after complaints surfaced. Neither man has publicly admitted abusing children.

The Rev. Willebaldo Castro was made associate at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Santa Maria in January 1976, just four months after he was accused of molesting a 16-year-old boy, according to the documents.

Castro, who left the archdiocese and returned to his native Mexico in 1980, also faces a lawsuit alleging he molested a minor at St. Mary's in 1977.

Posted by kshaw at October 13, 2005 09:15 AM