Fort Worth

Fort Worth priest removed after being accused of groping man at park near his church

Father Genaro Mayorga Reyes was removed from All Saints Catholic Church after he was accused of groping a man at a Fort Worth park.
Father Genaro Mayorga Reyes was removed from All Saints Catholic Church after he was accused of groping a man at a Fort Worth park. Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth

A priest at All Saints Catholic Church has been removed after he was accused of grabbing a man’s genitals at a park in September, church officials and police said Thursday.

Father Genaro Mayorga Reyes told officers he did not touch the 43-year-old man at Marine Park on the morning of Sept. 25, according to police reports.

Bishop Michael F. Olson requested that Reyes be recalled to Mexico after learning of the incident, according to a statement released by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth last week to members of All Saints. It was effective Nov. 5.

“Please pray for Father Genaro and please pray for members of the All Saints parish,” the statement said.

Pat Svacina, a spokesman for the diocese, said Thursday the decision of whether Reyes remains a priest will be made by church officials in Mexico. Reyes was recalled by the provincial of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis in Mexico, Reyes’ order.

“It will be left to them also if Reyes receives any treatment or not,” Svacina said.

Olson was alerted to the incident days afterward by police. The bishop waited until he received a copy of the police report, which took a few weeks, before reaching a decision on Reyes.

Officers were dispatched to the Quick Trip at 109 E. Northside Drive shortly after 2 a.m. on Sept. 25 on an assault call.

A 43-year-old man told police he was walking from a friend’s house toward Quick Trip when he saw another man later identified as Reyes sitting by himself under a gazebo at Marine Park, 303 N.W. 20th St.

The man said he sat near Reyes and asked him how he was doing.

The man claimed Reyes walked to his side of the picnic table, sat next to him and grabbed his genitals, according to police reports.

The man said he was offended, but he wasn’t injured.

The man got up and ran to the Quick Trip where he called police, the report said. The man told police he didn’t know Reyes, but he would be able to identify him. He said Reyes would probably still be in the park.

Additional officers arrived on the scene and soon located Reyes.

Reyes told police that he did not touch the man and that he was a pastor at the church across the street. That church is All Saints Catholic Church.

Detectives assigned to the case reviewed the report and determined that there was insufficient evidence of assault by offensive contact, police said. They instead issued Reyes a general complaint citation and mailed it to him.

“That is set by the municipal courts and the cited person has the right to a trial as well,” police spokesman Buddy Calzada said in an email Thursday when asked about fines on general complaint citations. “The judge has the final say-so on any fines if charged.”

Reyes was appointed pastor at the church earlier this year as a replacement for Father Stephen Jasso, who retired as he battled with ALS.

The Rev. Angel Hernandez, who had been associate pastor at All Saints, has been appointed as interim pastor.

Father Richard Kirkham also violated the Diocese safe environment policy on reporting allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct, according to Bishop Michael Olson.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763,@mingoramirezjr
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