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News Release

Monday, November 25, 2002

Media Relations

Los Angeles Police Obtain Arrest Warrants for Two Catholic Priests

"Los Angeles Police Obtain Arrest Warrants for Two Catholic Priests"

 

Los Angeles: On Friday, November 22, 2002, arrest warrants were issued by the Office of the Los Angeles District Attorney for two former Los Angeles priests. At the direction of Los Angeles Police Department Juvenile Division detectives, 75-year-old Mathew Michael Sprouffske was arrested by Darien, Illinois police as he met with other priests at the Carmelite Order office complex.

The arrest took place at 2:45 p.m., (Illinois time). Father Sprouffske was taken to the police department where he was booked on the warrant charging four counts of 288 PC, Lewd Acts With a Child Under 14 Years. Los Angeles Judge William Pounders set the bail at $200,000.00. A Bond Hearing will be held for Sprouffske in Wheaton, Illinois, on Tuesday, November 26, 2002.

The investigation into allegations of child molestation began in April 2002, when multiple victims reported that the abuse occurred approximately four decades ago.

An arrest warrant has also been issued for 47-year-old former Los Angeles Catholic Priest John Anthony Salazar. Allegations were reported to LAPD’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit in April 2002, when multiple victims reported sexual abuse as children (in the 1980’s) when they attended Saint Bernard’s and Saint Teresita Churches in Los Angeles.

Judge William Pounders issued an arrest warrant for Salazar charging one count of 288A (b) (1) PC, Oral Copulation of a Person Under 18, and one count of 288A (b) (2) PC, Oral Copulation of a person under 16. Salazar’s last known address was in Tulia, Texas.

Please direct all further inquiries regarding this matter to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.