OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor has fled the country according to the Oakland Diocese.
Father Alex Castillo was under investigation by Oakland police after an allegation of inappropriate behavior from a male victim.
The diocese placed Castillo on administrative leave January 31. According to the California Catholic Daily, the church has lost contact with Castillo and filed a missing persons report on February 23.
Oakland police have not released details of the investigation, but according to the San Francisco Chronicle, they found Castillo and told church officials, “he has left the country.”
“They would not provide us with information on his whereabouts, except that he has left the country,” Helen Osman, a diocese spokeswoman said. “They also informed us they have completed their criminal investigation.”
Castillo has not been charged. The case has been referred to the Alameda County district attorney’s office.
The news of Castillo’s disappearance comes on the heels of newly-released names of nearly four dozen clergy accused of sex abuse spanning decades from the Oakland Catholic Diocese.
Meantime, Castillo is still considered on leave, according to church officials.
Castillo served as the diocese’s director of Department of Faith Formation and Evangelization and episcopal master of ceremonies.
He is not allowed to function publicly as a priest during the investigation, said Osman.