Catholic Priest Accused of Chasing After Molested Preteen Boy in His Underwear

Police in Woodburn, Oregon, say a local parish priest molested a 12-year-old boy and then chased after him in his underwear when the preteen escaped.

According to court documents [PDF], the boy was left in the care of Father Angel Armando Perez of St. Luke Catholic Church by his parents, who were led to believe Perez was taking their son on a camping trip.

The boy, who lives in Salem, told police he was permitted to stay at Perez's home near the church following a community church event the night before the supposed hike. There, the two allegedly drank a beer and watched a movie before turning in.

Later that night, the boy says he was "woken up by a couple of flashes" to find the priest next to his air mattress. Perez was allegedly holding the boy's genitals with one hand, and using his other hand to take photos with his cellphone.

When Perez left the room and headed upstairs, the victim grabbed his things and left. He took off running down the street, with Perez in close pursuit. Eventually the boy came across James Curths and his sister-in-law Heather Rodriguez, and begged them for help.

Perez, who was naked except for his underwear, eventually made his way to where the three were standing. "He was staring at us," Rodriguez recalled. "Then he stood there with his hands on his hips like, 'You're really not going to give him to me?'"

Perez left the scene and drove to the boy's home in Salem, where he reportedly told the boy's mother and brother he was "very sorry" for his "mistake," and asked them not to "stop believing in the church" because of his "sin." The boy's brother noted that Perez was reeking of alcohol.

Perez was interviewed by police on Monday and subsequently booked into Marion County Jail. He was arraigned yesterday on multiple charges, including first-degree sexual abuse and abuse of a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct.

[H/T: HyperVocal, screengrab via NWCN]