Costa Rica hunts priest on abuse charges as time runs out

February 20, 2019

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — A Costa Rican court has issued an international detention request for a priest who is thought to have left the country as the statute of limitations threatens to run out on abuse charges facing him.

Mauricio Viquez allegedly abused two teenagers in 2003. In Costa Rica, such charges generally can’t be pursued 10 years after a complainant’s 18th birthday, and the alleged victims are nearly 28.

Viquez also faces internal canonical proceedings in the Roman Catholic Church. It is believed he left Costa Rica after taking a leave of absence Jan. 7 from teaching duties at a local university.

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 on abuse that begins Thursday.

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