A new lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the Catholic Church’s Sacramento diocese assisted one of its priests in obtaining a new position with a parish in Mexico after sexual abuse accusations in Northern California in the 1980s.

The lawsuit includes a letter allegedly written by Diocese of Sacramento attorney Louis N. Desmond and indicates that former Bishop Francis A. Quinn approved a request by Priest Jose Antonio Pinal Castellanos to begin working in Mexico. 

Castellanos was accused by four boys of sexual assault, then fled the United States.

The agreement was contingent that the diocese in Mexico “assume full responsibility,” including financial liability, if Castellanos committed a sex offense while working in Mexico.   

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Juan Ricardo Torres. He says Castellanos was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Gridley, an hour north of Sacramento, when the priest befriended Castellanos’ parents.

He alleges that Castellanos began sexually abusing him in 1983 on overnight trips when he was 15 years old. 

Torres and his parents reported Castellanos to the Sacramento diocese in 1989, after Torres says he had become depressed and suicidal. The lawsuit says Torres received some counseling and the promise that Castellanos would not be allowed near children.

Torres says he was angry when he discovered Pinal was still working in Cuernevaca, Mexico. “These are individuals that are supposed to be the closest thing to Jesus Christ or God … and they’re not,” Torres said.

Full story at capradio.org.