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New Mexico Catholic ex-priest arrested for child rape

February 9, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former Catholic priest on the Santa Fe Archdiocese’s list of clergy members credibly accused of sexually abusing children was arrested Friday on charges he kidnapped and raped a 6-year-old boy during the mid-1980s.

Marvin Archuleta, 80, was taken into custody in Albuquerque after the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office filed a criminal complaint against the former priest on child rape and kidnapping charges.

According to court documents, Archuleta raped a 6-year-old boy attending the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz, New Mexico, during the mid-1980s. Documents said Archuleta pulled the boy out of class and violently raped the boy.

No attorney was listed for Archuleta.

Celine Radigan, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, did not immediately return an email for comment.

The charges follow the state attorney general’s office serving a pair of search warrants in October on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in October, seeking documents related to Archuleta and other priests accused of sexually abusing children.

The state’s statute of limitations wouldn’t have allowed for charges before 1980, David Carl, a spokesman for Attorney General Hector Balderas, said.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced after the warrant it would file for bankruptcy protection, as the Catholic church in New Mexico has settled numerous claims of sexual abuse by clergy over the years and is close to depleting its reserves.

About 20 dioceses and other religious orders around the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of clergy sex abuse claims, according to lawyers representing the archdiocese.

Archbishop John Wester said he had been contemplating the action for years but that the archdiocese had reached a tipping point and he wanted to ensure there would be resources to provide compensation for victims.

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