Documents: Alleged victim says local priest sexually assaulted her during confession
EL PASO, Texas —
Documents: Alleged sexual abuse victim says local priest sexually assaulted her during confession
A woman who says a former Catholic priest sexually abused her as a child told investigators it all began when she was 8 years old, according to court documents.
Miguel Luna, 68, was arrested this month after an investigation was launched into the claims of sexual abuse alleged to have happened for several years in the late 1990s.
According to court documents, the incidents happened in El Paso when Luna was associated with the Catholic Diocese.
The alleged victims said Luna began kissing her during confession and then when she was between the ages of 10 and 13, Luna allegedly began touching her inappropriately, the court documents state.
She told investigators Luna told her to “remember it was confession, so whatever happens in here stays in here,” according to court documents.
The alleged victim said that when she was 12 years old, Luna pinned her down and sexually abused her, saying he continued to have sex with her until she was 17, the court documents say.
Bishop Mark Seitz of the El Paso Diocese said he removed Luna from the ministry in 2013, upon the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board.
A spokesperson for the diocese said the recommendation was made because allegations of sexual harassment had been made but not involving a minor.
The Catholic Dioceses of El Paso released the following statement:
"Any act of sexual abuse is a reprehensible, immoral and criminal act. While sexual acting out with a minor by any person is always wrong, it is directly contradictory to the sacrificial love to which a priest has committed himself before God."
Luna has served at the following El Paso churches:
Our Lady of Assumption
Our Lady of Peace – Alpine
San Antonio de Padua
St. Joseph Mission – Fort Davis
St. Mary Mission - Marathon
St. Pius X
St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas/St. Joseph – Kermit
The El Paso Police Department's Crimes Against Children unit is asking anyone who was a victim, or feels that they might have been a victim, or knows someone who was a victim of Luna to contact investigators at 915-212-0382.