UPDATE, SEPT. 19, 2:15 P.M.: Bishop Oscar D. Perez Perez, who faces up to 60 years to life in state prison for alleged sex crimes involving two 11-year-old boys, met the victims though his Iglesia Antigua Católica congregation and not St. George's Parish of Laguna Hills.
Iglesia Antigua Católica rents space for services at St. George's, an Episcopalian church. Representatives stress the church, whose academy includes a preschool, subjects all employees to background checks, training and other strict measures aimed at protecting children.
UPDATE, SEPT. 13, 4:25 P.M.: Iglesia Antigua Bishop Oscar D. Perez Perez had his bail increased to $1 million at today's arraignment hearing in Santa Ana that was continued to Monday.
The 68-year-old is accused of having two 11-year-old boys sleep over in his apartment, where it is alleged in July he French kissed and rubbed the penis of one youth, and on multiple occasions since 2008 the pastor rubbed the penis and buttocks and sodomized the second boy.
According to prosecutors, Perez “represented himself as a Catholic and Apostolic pastor and bishop” at Iglesia Antigua Católica, a Spanish-language church that rented space at St. George's Parish, an Episcopalian church and academy in Laguna Hills. He is alleged to have met the boys through the Iglesia Antigua Católica congregation, which is not part of Orange County's Roman Catholic Diocese.
Like sheriff's investigators on the case, the Orange County District Attorney's office has put out a call for other possible victims to come forward, as revealed in the following arraignment statement:
September 13, 2011
OCDA SEEKING PUBLIC'S HELP IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL VICTIMS OF 68-YEAR-OLD PASTOR ARRAIGNED ON CHARGES OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TWO 11-YEAR-OLD MALE PARISHIONERS
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) is seeking the public's help identifying potential additional victims of a 68-year-old pastor arraigned today on charges of sexually assaulting two 11-year-old male parishioners. Oscar D. Perez Perez, 68, Lake Forest, is charged with four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 and sentencing enhancement allegations for multiple victims. He faces a maximum sentence of 60 years to life in state prison if convicted. At his court appearance today, Perez's bail was set at $1 million, protective orders were issued for both victims, and he was scheduled for a continued arraignment Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
Perez is accused of representing himself as a Catholic and Apostolic pastor and bishop at Iglesia Antigua, a church that rented space at St. George's Episcopalian Church in Laguna Hills. Perez is accused of meeting John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 at the church.
On July 1, 2011, Perez is accused of having John Doe #1 sleep over at his apartment. The defendant is accused of kissing the victim on the mouth using tongue. He is accused of rubbing John Doe #1's penis under his clothes, making skin to skin contact.
Sometime after the sexual assault, John Doe #1's mother reported Perez's assault to the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD). A subsequent investigation led to the discovery of John Doe #2.
Between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 13, 2011, Perez is accused of rubbing John Doe #2's penis and buttocks, making skin to skin contact. During a sleepover at Perez's apartment, the defendant is accused of waking John Doe #2 by sodomizing him.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Lou Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794.
Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.
ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 13, 9:06 A.M.: Orange County Sheriff's investigators fear there may be other young victims of
Old Catholic Church Iglesia Antigua Católica Bishop Oscar D. Perez Perez, who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of molesting boys he met at mass.
Perez, 68, was arrested at his Lake Forest home, which is where he is accused of engaging in lewd acts with a child under 12. The bishop's bail was set at $100,000.
Old Catholic Church, Iglesia Antigua Católica, a Spanish language church that is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, rented space at St. George's Parish, an Episcopalian church in Laguna Hills. Iglesia Antigua Católica is part of the Old Catholic Church movement formed in the 1800s by Roman Catholics who broke away over papal infallibility. Today's Old Catholic Church is in full communion with the Anglican Communion.
For the past two years, Perez has been conducting masses at St. George's. He met a boy under 12 and his family who belonged to the congregation. The bishop is accused of asking the boy's parents if the child could help him with chores around Perez's house. The boy told his mother of the lewd acts that are said to have occurred in August.
The sheriff's investigation discovered a second boy under 13 was also a possible victim. Investigators fear there may be others and ask anyone with information to call the department at (866) TIP-OCSD.