LI priest accused of molesting, giving 6-year-old girl STD

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HAMPTONS BAY, Long Island (PIX11)-- A Long Island priest is accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl, resulting in her contracting an STD.

Rev. Augusto Cortez, 50, a Catholic priest of the Vincentian congregation, is wanted by police for sexually assaulting a little girl from Long Island, according to police.

Her family, who will not be named in order to avoid identifying the alleged victim, is deeply distraught, particularly because their child's suspected molester is someone they trusted and turned to for religious guidance.

"It's the deepest pain that any mother can ever feel," the victim's mother said.

Cortez spent numerous holidays and outings with the family.

The mom says Cortez was an invited guest at a recent house party, but at one point she walked in to find her daughter and him alone. That's how she discovered the alleged abuse.

Her daughter is now in therapy to deal with the emotional issue.

While she does feel safe to talk knowing he won't be coming back, she says the abuse happened more times than she can count and she was diagnosed with a painful sexually transmitted disease.

South Hampton police questioned Cortez, but he was not arrested.

"I feel like the Church had something to do with him fleeing," the mother said.

It wasn't the first time Cortez had been in trouble with the law.

He is currently on probation for molesting a 12-year-old girl in Brooklyn back in 2008, according to court documents. He was working at St. John the Baptist in Bed Stuy. At the time, Vincentians wrote a letter to the court saying they would supervise Cortez while he was on probation and he would be assigned to their headquarters in Philadelphia -- not churches on Long Island.

The Vincentian order did not return calls for comment.

A few days later after the initial questioning, the priest disappeared and now, prosecutors say there is an active search for the him.

Michael Dowd is the attorney working with family and is trying to get the word out about the priest.

"This is about protecting not even their own child but knowing he told them there other families he was close to in Nassau and Suffolk," Dowd said. "The hope is that they will hear this broadcast. See his picture and start asking their children what happened when he was around."

4 comments

  • Ashley

    When is the Catholic Church going to WAKE UP and deal with this type of stuff? She’s 6 YEARS OLD and now has an STD thanks to this scumbag!

  • Lorianne h

    I just wrote to the archdiocese and the vincentians. It is unbelievable that child abuse is still occurring in the Catholic Church. After all those lawsuits, they are still putting priests and children in harms way! An attraction to children as sexual partners has been found to be biological in nature. You can’t pray it out of the priest. So you don’t put him in situations where he can harm children. What are they thinking!? And now the priest has disappeared? Where has the church moved him to? I am a former Catholic, because of things like this. They should be ashamed.

  • Chiquis

    as a mother of a 6 year old too, there are 2 things more disturbing to me: one the police questioned him and let him go??? why? per the story it appears that he was caught in the act. What else does it take to put a guy like this behind bars? This is not the first time he does it, and probably not the last. The second thing, as a mother it really bothers me that this poor child’s mother did not know that this child was already sexually active. How can she not noticed something wrong? asked questions, children at this age do communicate more easily. Besides, priest or not, ‘trusted’ family member or not, as parent it is your job to be constantly vigilant and suspicious of people that are around your children and ask, ask questions. Very unfortunate that they had to learn the hard way.

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