A Las Cruces priest has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of “sexual misconduct with adults.”
Fr. Rogelio Martinez was placed on leave with pay by Bishop Oscar Cantú following multiple allegations, according to a news release from the diocese.
The allegations against him have been reported to the Dona Ana County District Attorney’s Office and the diocese is conducting an investigation which will be reviewed by the Diocese of Las Cruces’ Sexual Abuse Review Board.
“Should they be deemed credible, the bishop may initiate further procedures under church law that could result in sanctions against Fr. Martinez,” the news release said. “The internal investigation will run concurrently to any criminal investigation should one be initiated by public authorities.”
The review board is made up of private citizens who are experts in law, law enforcement and psychology, as well as a priest, the release said.
“Sadly, our diocese has allegations against a priest that are serious in nature, and we must proceed with a review that is comprehensive and provides a just conclusion,” said Cantú in the release. “Certainly, Father Rogelio must be presumed to be innocent and will be given ample opportunity to clear his name.”
The diocese asks anyone who may have been abused by anyone associated with the church to call local law enforcement or the diocese Victim’s Assistance Coordinator at 575-523-7577.