January 04, 2006

Ex Avondale priest returns to face charges

East Valley View

John Machay
staff writer

A former Avondale priest accused of sexual misconduct with children has returned to Arizona to face the consequences of his alleged actions, authorities said.

Father Joseph Cervantez Briceno, the onetime pastor of St. William Church in Avondale, was extradited Tuesday from El Centro, Calif., where he’s been jailed since his Dec. 16 arrest, said Lt. Paul Chagolla, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies escorted the 59-year-old priest aboard MCSO’s fixed wing plane, which landed in Phoenix at about noon, Chagolla said.

Shortly after his arrival, Briceno made an initial appearance in a Fourth Avenue Jail courtroom, where bail was set at $250,000 cash, said Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. He’s also been ordered to surrender his passport and, should he be bailed out, wear a Global Positioning System monitoring device so authorities can keep track of his whereabouts, FitzGerald said.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2006 03:09 PM