MEXICO CITY (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Antequera Oaxaca in southern Mexico has promised to assist the authorities in the case of a priest arrested in connection with an alleged sexual assault.

Father Carlos Franco Perez, priest at the cathedral in Oaxaca city, has been arrested for an alleged sexual assault occurring during Holy Week, according to local media. Archbishop Jose Chavez Botello of Antequera Oaxaca told media after Mass July 17 that the archdiocese has acted proactively in the case and had cooperated with the authorities since becoming aware of the alleged crime.


“He was removed from his ecclesiastical position as a preventive measure April 10 and so that legal proceedings are carried out. Corresponding information has been provided to the authorities as requested,” said an archdiocesan statement read at a news conference.

“The priest is appearing before a judge. … In the event that his responsibility is proved, he will have to pay as outlined by the laws.”

The case had been handled quietly until Father Alejandro Solalinde, a well-known priest in Oaxaca state for his work Central American migrants, mentioned it in a series of tweets July 15. He accused the archdiocese of not acting and called on Archbishop Chavez to resign.

Archbishop Chavez submitted his resignation earlier in 2016 upon turning 75, in accordance with canon law. His successor has not yet been named.