Following a failed attempt at suicide, a Catholic priest was deported to Bolivia this week after being convicted for sexually assaulting a Chicago boy.
On Tuesday, Alejandro Flores, 40, returned to La Paz on a commercial flight accompanied by two federal agents, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
The repatriation was a result of Flores sexually molesting a little boy, but there are conflicting reports on the details of the case.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Flores met the 8-year-old boy’s family in 2008, but the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Flores met the then 7-year-old’s family in 2004 and allegedly maintained sexual contact with the boy over the course of five years.
“Flores held a position of trust in the Catholic Church and has proven to be an extreme danger to our children,” Ricardo Wong, field office director for ICE’s Chicago Enforcement and Removal Operations, told the Chicago Tribune.
While the year the two met is unclear, this much is not in dispute: Flores met the boy’s family when he was a seminarian at St. Mary’s Church in west Chicago, then moved to Holy Family Church in Shorewood, Illinois when he was ordained in 2009.
In early 2010, the boy’s family reported Flores to police, who then launched an investigation. Flores disappeared the day he was to meet with investigators, but later that day it was discovered that he had jumped from a church balcony in Joliet, Illinois. He was hospitalized but survived.
According to the Sun-Times, Flores was indicted on 16 counts of sexual assault and abuse. In September of 2010, he pled guilty to one charge of assault, and all other charges were dropped. He was then sentenced to four years in prison.
Flores was transferred to federal custody after being released from the Illinois prison in June of this year.
During the court proceedings, prosecutors revealed that the Diocese of Joliet delayed Flores’ ordination twice because of his background. According to the Tribune, “Flores reportedly had been caught viewing male pornography over a computer and told diocese officials that he had been sexually abused as a boy in a Bolivian orphanage.”
Whether he is still a priest is unclear. The Tribune reported that Flores’ dismissal from the priesthood is under review by the Vatican, but the Sun-Times said that he was permanently removed from the priesthood when he was released in June.