Brownsville priest arraigned on trafficking and child sex abuse charges

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A Brownsville priest was arrested on several charges of trafficking and sexual abuse of a child, according to a news release from the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office.

The news release identified the suspect as Fernando Gonzalez Ortega, a priest at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Brownsville. 

Ortega was arrested on Monday on charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child, continuous trafficking of persons, sex assault of a child and sexual performance of a child, the news release stated.

Details on the investigation against Ortega were not provided by the district attorney's office. 

In a statement, Rev. Daniel E. Flores of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville said Ortega was removed from his ministry and prohibited from exercising "any priestly ministry anywhere" on Feb. 3, after receiving the sexual misconduct allegation.


"The diocese will fully cooperate with the investigation," the release stated. 

Ortega was arraigned Tuesday morning and had his bond set at $800,000.

As part of his bond conditions, Ortega must surrender his passport and remain in Cameron County while these cases are pending, the release stated. 


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