Father John Velez
Diocese of Monterey/Marist Order
Dead: Year unknown
- 1989-1990 La Purisima (El Paso, TX)
- 1990-1991 Mary of the Nativity (Salinas, CA)
- 1990-1991 Sacred Heard (Salinas, CA)
- 1990-1991 Christ the King/Cristo Rey
- 1991-2011 Sent to Mexico after accusation of child sexual abuse
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Velez:
In 2003, Fr. John Velez was accused of sexually abusing an altar boy when he was assigned to St. Mary of the Nativity in Salinas, CA from 1990-1991.
The Diocese allowed Fr. John Velez to work in its parishes even after Velez left La Purishiman in El Paso, Texas “under a cloud” of suspicion.
According to media reports, Fr. Juan Guillen reported Fr. John Velez to local church officials after the boy told him about Velez’s abuse. Shockingly, Fr. Juan Guillen ended up sexually abusing the same boy later on and is now serving a 10-year sentence in Arizona.
Fr. John Velez admitted to sexually abusing the altar boy in 1991. He was sent to St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista where he tried to commit suicide. After being hospitalized following his incident, he was then escorted to Mexico City and turned over to his order.
According to media reports, in 2009, Diocesan officials admitted they didn’t alert the authorities when learning about Fr. John Velez’s abuse. Rather, they told the boy’s parents that the abuse was “not a big deal” and that it “happens to a lot of kids”.
In 2009, The Monterey Diocese settled with the former altar boy for $1.2 million and apologized to the victim and his family.
He is thought to be continuing to serve as a priest in Colombia.
According to Bishop Accountability, it notes that John Velez is deceased.
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