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News Release

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Media Relations

Catholic Priest Arrested for Child Molestation

 

Los Angeles: On Sunday, August 10, 2003, at approximately 7:50 p.m., officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Valley Division arrested 31-year-old Avdon Serratos, a Catholic priest, outside a private residence in the 6900 block of Etiwanda Avenue in Reseda. Serratos was arrested for molesting a 15-year-old girl.

According to information provided by Serratos and the victim’s family, Serratos has been a priest for the last three years. He normally ministers at a Catholic church in Mexico, but he comes to the United States for several days during the summer months in order to minister to families here.

The investigation into Serratos began in the afternoon of Saturday, August 9, 2003, when the victim reported to police that Serratos had molested her earlier that day during a private confessional. On August 10, 2003, when it was determined Serratos had returned to the Etiwanda Avenue residence, the police were called. After confirming that Serratos was the named suspect on the child molestation report, officers transported him to West Valley station for questioning. At the conclusion of the interview, Serratos was arrested for molesting the girl.

On August 11, 2003, detectives from Juvenile Division’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit assumed responsibility of the investigation. On August 12, 2003, the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and Serratos was charged with four counts of Penal Code Section 288(c)(1) (Lewd Acts with a Child). Serratos’ arraignment is scheduled for this afternoon. Serratos remains in custody with bail set at $100,000.

Anyone with information in this case or who believes they are a victim should contact Juvenile Division Sexually Exploited Child Unit Detective James Brown at 213-485-2883.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Renee’ Montoya, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.