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Cameron County DA: New sexual misconduct allegation against former McAllen pastor under investigation

1 month 43 minutes 29 seconds ago Friday, April 19 2024 Apr 19, 2024 April 19, 2024 3:04 PM April 19, 2024 in News - Local

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated on Saturday, April 20, 2024 with comments from Ed Stapleton, the attorney for former Msgr. Gustavo Barrera of the Our Lady of Sorrows Parish.

A second individual raised an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor against a former McAllen pastor, according to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office. 

In a Friday news release, Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said his office was contacted on April 4 by a “second victim” who made an allegation against Former Msgr. Gustavo Barrera of the Our Lady of Sorrows Parish.

“The allegation is under investigation by the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office,” the statement read. Further details were not provided.

READ MORE: Police report filed against former McAllen pastor, Catholic Diocese of Brownsville says

On Wednesday, April 3, Bishop Daniel E. Flores with the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville said Barrera had resigned and retired after a police report was filed against him.

In a news release that was sent out on April 3, Flores said the police report was filed after the Diocese’s victim’s assistance coordinator met with an individual who accused Barrera of sexual misconduct with a minor in an incident that allegedly happened 35 years ago.

The victim’s assistance coordinator filed the police report as per Diocese policy, the release added.

The Diocese has yet to confirm where the report was filed.

In a statement, Barrera's attorney — Ed Stapleton — denied the initial allegations.  

On Saturday, Channel 5 News spoke with Stapleton, who said he and Barrera were "blindsided" by the second allegation.

"We don't know anything about it," Stapleton said. "We don't know where it happened, what is supposed to have happened, who it's supposed to have been, what the nature of it is. And so we feel blindsided."

Stapleton added that authorities have yet to reach out to him or his client regarding a criminal investigation. 

Barrera is currently not facing any criminal charges. 

Those who are victims of sexual abuse are encouraged to contact police and the Texas Department of Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

Anyone who has suffered abuse within the Diocese are urged to contact the victim’s assistance coordinator, Margie Garcia, at 956-238-1455, or margie.garcia@cdob.org.

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