A Catholic priest denounced for alleged sexual abuse was arrested this morning (Thursday) when trying to leave the country through the area of Paso Canoas land border with Panama.

Jorge Morales Salazar, a priest whom a young man accuses of sexual abuse. (Photo taken from his Facebook profile)

The priest, identified as Jorge Arturo Morales Salazar, is alleged to have committed the acts against a young man about eight years ago.

The victim, identified as Fabián Arguedas, speaking to Semanario Universidad assured that the priest had assaulted and sexually abused him when he was 17 years old. The events lasted two years and took place in the Parroquia del Perpetuo Socorro in La Sabana.

Fabián Arguedas, denunciante. Photo Katya Alvarado, Semanario Universidad

“When my parents went to file the complaint, Daniel Blanco (today auxiliary bishop) was the one who attended them. He took notes and said that he would do everything possible to investigate the case. When he took the statements from me, he told me that if I filed the complaint in the Poder Judicial – Judiciary –  I would leave on the Extra (known for its yellow journalism) and in all the newspapers, that I would be smeared. He told me me I was doing the right thing by going to the ecclesiastical court. When I finished giving the story, he told me that I was not very credible and that there was not much evidence of the case … “, said the young man to university newspaper hat the priest touched him, beat him and abused him sexually.

According to Arguedas, the aggressions were carried out between 2009 and 2011 in the parish house Perpetuo Socorro, in Sabana, and then they continued in the Clínica Católica, when Morales was chaplain of that medical center.

In spite of the denunciations, Morales continued being a priest of the Nuestra Señora del Carmen church.

The Catholic Church has been under scrutiny due to a series of complaints from young people who claim to have been abused by different priests.

Morales Salazar is the third Catholic priest to be criminally accused for sexual abuse of minors, the other two are Manuel Guevara, the parish priest of Santo Domingo and Mauricio Víquez Lizano.

One of the strongest complaints was filed against Víquez, who has already been expelled from the Church and whose whereabouts are unknown, leaving the country – allegedly after being informed by the Church of pending charges against him – on January 7 and is now the subject of an international arrest warrant.

The Fiscalia General (Prosecutor General’s Office) that Morales will be transferred to San José, where he will be proessed and subsequently, the request for precautionary measures will be assessed.