By JohnSexual Assault

Candles burning in a church background

This article has been in the DFW-area news in recent days.

The article discusses another incident of a local Catholic priest, this time Father Ricardo Mata, allegedly engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior with two “juvenile” age girls, one of whom reportedly age 10.

The alleged sexual abuse occurred away from church premises, at the family home of one of the victims. This is not uncommon. Priests have been known to insinuate themselves into parishioner families to the point of spending a lot of time at their homes and around their children. Some are even allowed to babysit children. Unfortunately, this gives immense opportunity to those priests or other clergy who are also child sex predators.

It is nice to invite priests, clergy or ministry into your home. Be gracious and loving towards them. They are worthy of respect. But they are not worthy of unlimited trust.

Always bear in mind you do not truly know them. For that reason, be very reluctant to allow any priest or clergy to be alone in your home with your children. Always monitor your children and avoid letting a priest or other clergy to be with them behind closed doors.  And if, in the past, you recall instances of that happening in your home, at church, or elsewhere, consider asking your child what occurred during those experiences and if any inappropriate sexual conduct happened. This is especially the case if you have noticed a marked change in your child’s behavior.

We hope the victims of Father Mata’s alleged misconduct can find somehow find healing, relief and peace in the wake of what he has been accused of doing. Clergy sexual abuse is a terrible crime. It can lead to immense mental and emotional harm – often PTSD. It must stop.    

If You Have Been Abused, Contact Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP for Compassionate Legal Help

If you, one of your children, a loved one or a friend has been raped, molested or sexually abused by a priest, church official or clergy – Catholic Church, or any other denomination — promptly contact the police where the incident(s) happened and report it. This cannot be stressed enough. These are serious criminal acts. Then, contact the Dallas clergy sexual abuse lawyers at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP.

Our main office is in Dallas, Texas, but we handle these types of cases throughout Texas. If you are the victim of clergy sex abuse or rape, regardless of age, or know of a victim and you are trying to help, immediate legal representation is needed due to statute of limitations issues, the need to preserve evidence, and, again, to make sure law enforcement is immediately involved. Do not wait!

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