Costa Rica has issued an international arrest warrant for Catholic Church priest, Mauricio Víquez Lizano, who has nine complaints of sexual abuse of altar boys, confirmed on Tuesday afternoon the press department of the Poder Judicial.
The order was issued by the Juzgado Penal de Desamparados. The priest has been out the country since January 7, when he requested a leave at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) where he is a professor. His departure was occurred days before a new complaint came to light.
The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (immigration service) does not have any record, as of February 29, of Viquez’s return to Costa Rica.
In October 2018 the Aarchdiocese of San José removed Mauricio Víquez from the Church, following denuncias made in May of that same year for the alleged sexual abuse committed more than 20 years ago.
Viquez also faces internal canonical proceedings in the Catholic Church.
San Jose Archbishop Jose Rafael Quiros also faces a canonical investigation for allegedly covering up for Viquez. Quiros is not expected to attend a Vatican summit in Rome on abuse that begins tomorrow, Thursday, February 22, when, for the first time in Catholic history, nearly 200 church leaders from around the world will gather to confront the scourge of clergy who sexually abuse children.
“In the case against Mr. Víquez, for the time being, the Deputy Prosecutor for Gender reports that it will not disclose any details (…) in full compliance with article 295 of the Criminal Procedure Code, on the privacy of the proceedings, given that Any information at this stage could seriously affect the investigation,” added the press office of the Fiscalía General de la República (Attorney General’s Office).
At the moment the year and the place in which the alleged sexual abuse was committed iss unknown but it was learned that the abiuse could be prescribed by the end of September, because the victim turned 18 in September 2009 and the criminal action for cases of rape against minors, expires 10 years after the affected person acquires the age of majority.
Another fact that concerns authorities that, according to a report last week by the weekly univerity newspaper, Semanario Universidad, the priest requested a leave from the UCR until December 31, 2019.
However, the university Vice-rectory denied the request, in accordance with the publication.
The priest is expected by the university to returnt o classes on March 1.
Víquez has been teaching at the Escuela de Bibliotecología (School of Library Science) since August 9, 2004. He has achieved tenure on January 1, 2010. His current salary is ¢917,964 monthly.