Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Priest investigation ongoing in Kane County

Priest investigation ongoing in Kane County
By Josh Stockinger | Daily Herald StaffContact writerPublished: 1/12/2010 3:42 PM.Send To:

Kane County prosecutors are working to "solidify statements" involving a Joliet priest who attempted suicide last week after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy, the state's attorney said Tuesday.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, 37, tried to kill himself by leaping from a church balcony last Wednesday, two days after a St. Charles family lodged the complaint, according to police and the Diocese of Joliet.

On Tuesday, State's Attorney John Barsanti said Flores was apparently recovering in the hospital, but authorities know little about his condition. He declined to say whether criminal charges are imminent, but indicated that Flores' health could be a factor.

"Our best information is, he's not physically able to leave the hospital," Barsanti said.

Should Flores be charged while still recovering in the hospital, Barsanti said, it's possible the county could be "on the hook" for his medical bills.

Still, "When we're satisfied we can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, we'll move forward," he said. "At this point, we're solidifying (witness) statements."

The Diocese of Joliet said Flores was placed in a "monitored living situation" and removed of his duties after the allegations came to light Jan. 4. Two days later, Flores slipped out and threw himself from a 20-foot choir balcony at a Joliet church that is no longer in use, officials said.

Flores was a parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Shorewood. Church officials have said his accuser is not a parishioner at his church.

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