Dinuba Catholic Priest facing allegations of inappropriate touching

News
May 04 2021 05:30 pm

A Catholic priest in Dinuba has been place on paid administrative leave after an alleged victim claimed they were touched inappropriately. 

Raul Diaz has been a priest at St. Catherine Siena Catholic Church for more than four years in the city of Dinuba.  

Dinuba Police received the report against Diaz last week. 

According to Dinuba Police, the alleged victim is a minor under 18-year-old, they claim they were inappropriately touched by Father Diaz. 

Police said the alleged victim told investigators the incident occurred recently. 

“Oh no. I’m not shocked,” Ricardo Cruz said. 

Your Central Valley caught with Cruz as he was heading to confession. 

Cruz said sex scandals in the church are nothing new. 

“It’s the reputation of the church. It has been more hurtful because of the claims of child abuse and molestation to children,” Cruz said. 

Diaz is the second priest in the Catholic Diocese of Fresno under investigation in the last several weeks. 

Monsignor Craig Harrison is facing allegations of sexual misconduct after several alleged victims came forward earlier this month. 

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest Advocate Esther Miller said the Catholic Diocese of Fresno needs to make changes. 

“We encourage Bishop Brennan to have an open door policy and welcome in any victims statement but also to not hold vigils in support of the credibly accused clerics,” Miller said. 

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Bishop Joseph Brennan did send a message to church members this past weekend. 

“It is my responsibility as your Bishop to inform you that I have placed Father Raul Diaz, Pastor of St. Catherine Siena, on “Paid Administrative Leave” effective as of May 17, 2019. This action follows notification that law enforcement has received a report alleging Father Diaz has engaged in inappropriate behavior that may include inappropriate contact with minors.  

At this time, this is only a precautionary measure.  I ask that you keep this matter in prayer for all involved.  If you have any concerns related to Fr. Diaz that you believe may be relevant to  law enforcement’s investigation please contact Dinuba Police Department.”

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