WOODBURN, Ore. -- A 12-year-old boy awoke to find a Woodburn priest fondling him while he took flash cellphone photos, according to a probable cause statement prepared investigators.
Father Angel Armando Perez, pastor of St. Luke Catholic Church, also reportedly begged the victim's family for forgiveness after he drove to their home in the middle of the night, intoxicated.
Perez was arrested Monday and arraigned Tuesday on charges of sexual abuse, abuse of a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct, furnishing alcohol to a minor and DUII. The Archdiocese of Portland has placed him on leave.
Perez declined an interview request Wednesday from KGW.
The Woodburn police probable cause statement was written after interviews with the victim, his family, and Perez. The document alleges the following:
The boy told his parents that he was going to spend Sunday night at Perez' home. The priest had asked his parents several days earlier about a camping trip to the mountains with the child.
At the home, they watched a movie. The priest had arranged for the boy to sleep on an air mattress. The boy was awakened by flashes. The boy opened his eyes and Perez was next to the air mattress, one hand holding the cellphone and the other fondling the child.
The boy said the priest was wearing underwear and a t-shirt and that his own underwear and shorts were pulled down to his knees. The priest went upstairs, returned as the boy was leaving and asked him "come back to bed."
The boy ran out of the house as the priest gave chase. He found some people standing in a driveway and told them "Help me, a guy is chasing me." He asked a man there to drive him to his sister's house in Woodburn.
The sister said she and her husband were awakened by a constant pounding on the door. It was her brother, who told her "Father Angel touched my privates." The child was clearly frightened and shaking.
They boy was then driven to his parent's home in Salem. Perez appeared there about 2 a.m. and spoke with the victim's mother and brother. The priest had alcohol on his breath and appeared intoxicated. Perez said "I am very sorry. I made a mistake."
He asked for forgiveness. "I didn't mean to hurt (the child)." He went on to say "I am just one who serves in the church and I have sinned. Don't stop believing in the church."
Perez continually requested to speak the child and his father, who both refused. Perez said he wished to stay until the mother forgave him, along with her blessing. He held up an iPhone and said "You won't find anything." The phone flashed a message about a low battery.
Perez was asked once again to leave, which he did, saying "this is the last time you will see me."
Perez told investigators he drank too much at a community event on Sunday. He and the victim were given a ride back to his home, where he drank another beer. He was watching a movie with the victim, blacked out and did not remember what happened.
What he does remember is that he went upstairs to brush his teeth. He came back down and the victim looked disappointed and angry and ran out of the house.
He said he did earlier provide the child a beer, and the boy drank about half of it.
Perez said he drove drunk to the victim's house to sort out what had happened. He said that while there, he dropped to his knees and begged for forgiveness.