Cruces bishop steps in for ac­cused pas­tor

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM -

HOBBS — Las Cruces Bishop Os­car Cantu has vis­ited a Hobbs par­ish af­ter its pas­tor was charged with crim­i­nal sex­ual con­tact.

The Hobbs News-Sun re­ports Cantu cel­e­brated the Satur­day and Sun­day Masses days af­ter news that St. He­lena Catholic Church pas­tor Rev. Ri­cardo Bauza was fac­ing charges.

Ac­cord­ing to a 15-page crim­i­nal com­plaint filed last month, Bauza got into a shower with an adult male and washed the vic­tim’s body with a loofah in the church rec­tory.

The com­plaint says two male church mem­bers also told po­lice Bauza showed them cell­phone pho­tos of his gen­i­tals.

Cantu told parish­ioners he be­came aware of the case only last week when a News-Sun re­porter called the dio­cese ask­ing for a com­ment.

He says Bauza is in a treat­ment cen­ter un­der­go­ing ther­apy.

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