Woodburn church pastor guilty of sexually abusing a child

Fox 12 News, Oregon/April 1, 2013

Woodburn, Oregon - The former pastor of a Woodburn church has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy.

Angel Perez was arrested in August 2012.

The victim called police early in the morning to report inappropriate contact from Perez, who was the head priest at St. Luke's Catholic Church.

According to court documents filed by Woodburn police, the boy told detectives he was spending the night at the priest's home in Woodburn and woke up to flashes, possibly from a cell phone camera.

He told detectives Perez had his phone in one hand and he was touching himself with his other hand, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by Woodburn police.

According to police, the boy told family members that the priest inappropriately touched him and also gave him beer.

The probable cause documents said the priest then drove to the boy's home and apologized to his family.

Perez pleaded guilty Monday to charges of sex abuse, DUII and furnishing alcohol to a minor. He was sentenced to more than six years in prison on the first-degree sex abuse charges, a Measure 11 offense. He was sentenced to concurrent sentences on the remaining counts.

The Archdiocese of Portland released a statement Monday regarding Perez's guilty plea.

"We ask that everyone keep the victim and his family in their prayers," the statement said. "We also pray for healing and peace for the parishioners of the St. Luke Parish family."

Church leaders said they have worked to implement safety measures for clergy, teachers, adult volunteers and children, while acknowledging "the misconduct of even one person can teach that our vigilance must never be relaxed."

"We also ask for prayers for the family and friends of Father Perez and prayers for forgiveness," the Archdiocese of Portland statement said. "Yet, forgiveness does not exclude the consequences of justice under our nation's laws. Father Perez is now facing those consequences."

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