Fort Worth

Criminal case against Fort Worth priest accused of groping man at park is dropped

Fort Worth Bishop responds to other Texas Diocese releasing names of clergy accused of sexual abuse

Fort Worth Bishop Michael F. Olson explains why the Diocese of Fort Worth has released names of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors since 2007.
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Fort Worth Bishop Michael F. Olson explains why the Diocese of Fort Worth has released names of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors since 2007.

Fort Worth municipal prosecutors have filed a motion to drop the case against a Fort Worth priest who was accused of groping a man in a park near his church in the fall.

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 alleged incident, according to a statement released by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth in November to members of All Saints Catholic Church, where Reyes was the priest.

A court document obtained by the Star-Telegram said the motion to dismiss was filed and signed by a judge on June 4. It doesn’t say why city prosecutors sought to have the case dismissed.

Asked if Reyes will return to Fort Worth, diocese spokesman Pat Svacina said no.

“Based on the information received from the police officers, Bishop Olson determined that the priest did not adhere to the Diocese’s code of conduct and thus asked the Provincial of Father Genaro’s religious order to recall him,” Svacina said.

The decision was made after officers from the Fort Worth Police Department contacted Olson to tell him about the alleged incident, because “they felt it was important to inform him of the serious incident that they investigated and of the results of their investigation.”

“The police officers told the bishop that they believed the allegation to be credible after investigation,” Svacina said on Wednesday evening.

The man who made the claims against Reyes said the priest walked to his side of the picnic table, sat next to him and grabbed his genitals, according to police reports.

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.

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