Seven Roman Catholic priests in Mexico were suspended on Friday, including one accused of sexually abusing children during his time at a church in Los Angeles.
As of this time, the Archdiocese of Tijuana hasn’t revealed the names of the suspended priests, but it did confirm to the AP that one of the priests is Rev. Jeffrey Newell.
Newell has been under investigation since 2010 by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in the U.S..
Back then, a U.S. citizen filed a lawsuit in California against the Los Angeles archdiocese alleging that church leaders were involved in fraud and negligence by allowing Newell to retain his position while still working with children.
The victims group said in a statement: “It’s tragic that this predator priest has apparently struck again. Fr. Newell should have never been given a church job in Mexico.”
The Los Angeles Times in 2013 reported that Archbishop Roger M. Mahony plotted to conceal from the police allegations of child sex abuse by priests.
Failure by the archdiocese to get rid of clergymen who abused children, and their reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement, is already well documented.
Memos written from 1986-87 by Mahony show a well orchestrated cover-up plan to protect his fellow priests.
The new documents show that the church leaders attempted personally to protect priests from police investigations by not letting it be known that the children were molested.
The news of the seven priests suspended first came to light when Tijuana Archbishop Rafael Romo told the local media that the alleged victims of abuse were now teenagers, and that the allegations were being investigated.
The current case of the suspended priests follows the suspension of priest Eduardo Cordova after 19 people filed criminal complaints against him for sexual abuse in the northern Mexico state of San Luis Potosi.