An Oregon priest has apologized and said he was drunk when he was caught on the street in his underwear trying to chase down a 12-year-old boy he had just molested.
The Archdiocese of Portland has said it will pay for the priest’s criminal defense, even though it was the first in the nation to declare bankruptcy in 2004, just hours before two civil trials on sex abuse allegations were to begin.
Woodburn resident James Curths told Oregon Live that shortly after midnight on Aug. 13, an out-of-breath boy ran toward him, begging for help eluding a man who was chasing him. Moments later, the Rev. Angel Armando Perez appeared, wearing only his underwear.
Curths and his sister-in-law drove the boy to his relatives’ home.
The boy gave police a detailed account of the alleged abuse and Perez was arrested later the same day.
Perez faces charges of first-degree sexual abuse, abuse of a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct, furnishing alcohol to a minor and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
According to court records, the boy said he was spending the night with Perez, who had told the boy’s parents he wanted to take the boy on a trip to the mountains the next day.
The boy told police Perez gave him a beer and they watched a movie. The boy later fell asleep on an air mattress set up for him on the living room floor.
In the police report, the boy said he was “woken up by a couple of flashes”, and when he opened his eyes, Perez had one hand on the boy’s genitals and the other hand holding a cellphone that he was using to take pictures of the boy. The boy said that while he was sleeping, the priest had lowered the boy’s underwear and shorts to his knees.
Perez drove immediately to the boy’s parents’ home, where he begged the family for forgiveness. He told police that he “blacked out and doesn’t remember what happened.”