Granger pastor removed from position following accusation of sex - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Granger pastor removed from position following accusation of sexual abuse

Posted: Updated:

GRANGER, WA - The pastor of the Catholic Church in Granger is permanently taken out of his parish by the bishop of the diocese of Yakima after an allegation of abuse that was found by the Diocese to be credible. This is the first abuse allegation against a priest in the diocese of Yakima in 18 years, and they are taking it seriously.

"We know that sexual abuse is a reality throughout our society," said Monsignor Robert Siler, Episcopal Vicar & Chancellor for the Diocese of Yakima. "In our families, in our schools, and in the church too...but we want to make the church a safe place for everyone. Especially for our children and youth."

Bishop Joseph Tyson removed Father Gustavo Gomez Santos from all public ministry, including being a pastor of Our Lady Of Guadalupe Parish in Granger.

"You know, it's a shock for people to hear that someone that they love who has been so kind and good to them could even possibly do this," Monsignor Siler said. "We're just going to continue to reach out to the community and help them to work their way through this."

The allegation of abuse against Father Santos was when he was the pastor at St. Juan Diego in Cowiche. The 21-year-old victim told Yakima County Sheriff's Deputies he was fondled by Father Santos when he was 16, but YSCO can't charge Santos because the statue of limitations is only three years.

The department sent their report to the Diocese, and they then launched their own investigation. Based on evidence, the diocese found the victim's allegations were more likely true than not. Santos had been on a leave of absence since the early part of May.

The Diocese says they offered to pay for the victim to go to counseling, but he declined because he's already getting help at his university but is expected to meet with Diocesian leadership, including Bishop Tyson.

"He has expressed a desire to meet with leadership of the Diocese," said Monsignor Siler. "Bishop Tyson is very open to meeting with him to just express our sorrow at the abuse that has occurred and to ensure him of our prayers and support."

The Diocese does have a sexual abuse reporting hotline at 1-888-276-4490.

Monsignor Siler met with Parishoners after mass in Granger and Mabton yesterday, answering questions about the allegations against Father Santos. At this time, the Diocese says that no one else has come forward about sexual abuse by Father Santos.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Yakima NewsYakima News TodayMore>>

  • LIGO space observatory makes new discovery

    LIGO space observatory makes new discovery

    Monday, October 16 2017 9:23 PM EDT2017-10-17 01:23:59 GMT

    A different sort of galactic collision has been detected at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's special space observatory.  Officials announced Monday that astronomers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory discovered the crash of two neutron stars on Aug. 17.

    More >>

    A different sort of galactic collision has been detected at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's special space observatory.  Officials announced Monday that astronomers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory discovered the crash of two neutron stars on Aug. 17.

    More >>
  • Police still looking for suspect in shooting

    Police still looking for suspect in shooting

    Monday, October 16 2017 12:23 PM EDT2017-10-16 16:23:40 GMT

    Police are still looking for a suspect involved in a possible gang related shooting.

    More >>

    Police are still looking for a suspect involved in a possible gang related shooting.

    More >>
  • Man's body and his truck are pulled from canal after being stuck for 2 days

    Man's body and his truck are pulled from canal after being stuck for 2 days

    Sunday, October 15 2017 7:34 PM EDT2017-10-15 23:34:32 GMT
    If you know anything give them a call at (509) 545-3510. This is a developing story and will be updated.If you know anything give them a call at (509) 545-3510. This is a developing story and will be updated.

    WAPATO- Divers have recovered the body of an 87-year-old man whose pickup truck went into a canal north of his Wapato home.      The Yakima County Sheriff's Office says rescuers pulled Thomas Pence and his truck from the water Sunday afternoon. Authorities believe he may have suffered a heart attack or other medical condition when he drove off the road sometime Friday.      Deputies began searching for Pence Friday night after family members reported that...

    More >>

    WAPATO- Divers have recovered the body of an 87-year-old man whose pickup truck went into a canal north of his Wapato home.      The Yakima County Sheriff's Office says rescuers pulled Thomas Pence and his truck from the water Sunday afternoon. Authorities believe he may have suffered a heart attack or other medical condition when he drove off the road sometime Friday.      Deputies began searching for Pence Friday night after family members reported that...

    More >>