The Archdiocese of Portland called the sex abuse allegations at a Woodburn church tragic and sad when reached for comment by FOX 12 on Tuesday.
Father Angel Perez, the head priest at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Woodburn, is accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old child. The alleged victim called police at 1:30 a.m. Monday to report the inappropriate contact.
Detectives investigated the complaint and then arrested Perez on Monday.
"It's sad; it's surprising to a lot of people," said parishioner Nancy Guerrero. "He was well known in the community. He was liked by a lot of people."
According to court documents filed by Woodburn police, the alleged victim told detectives he was spending the night at the priest's home in Woodburn and woke up to flashes, possibly from a cell phone camera.
He told detectives Perez had his phone in one hand, and he was touching himself with his other hand, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by Woodburn police.
According to police, the boy told family members that the priest inappropriately touched him, and also gave him beer, said the documents.
"This is a very tragic and sad situation for everyone involved, and we want to keep all those involved in our prayers, as well as all of the parishioners at St. Luke's in Woodburn," said Bud Bunce, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Portland.
Perez is facing charges of sexual abuse, using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and furnishing alcohol to a minor, as well as DUII.
The probable cause documents indicate the priest drove to the alleged victim's family and apologized. The PC affidavit said a family member claimed the priest said, "I am very sorry; I made a mistake."
But, according to the documents, Perez also said, "Look at my phone, you won't find anything."
Woodburn police said there have been no additional complaints, but detectives are asking anyone with information about this case or any other potential victims to call 503-982-2345.
In 2002, Perez became the first native of Mexico to be ordained in the Archdiocese of Portland.
His first assignment came as a deacon at St. Anne's Church in Grants Pass, then as an associate pastor in Corvallis.
He also spent time at St. Monica in Coos Bay before becoming pastor at St. Luke's in Woodburn in 2008.
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