South Carolina priest charged with sexually abusing 11-year-old child

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A South Carolina priest who served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston has been charged with federal sex crimes stemming from allegations that he abused an 11-year-old child.

Jaime Adolfo Gonzalez-Farias, known in church as “Father Gonzalez,” was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in Miami on Nov. 29, according to court records. A recently unsealed indictment shows Gonzalez-Farias, 68, was charged with aggravated sexual abuse of children, coercion of a minor and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Between Nov. 8 and Nov. 12, 2020, Gonzalez-Farias is accused of taking an 11-year-old child to Florida and engaging in the “intentional touching, not through the clothing, of (the victim’s) genitalia,” according to the indictment.

In a statement provided to The State, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston said they first became aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor involving Gonzalez-Farias in Dec. 2020 after he had left the country for his home in Chile. The diocese said it notified his parishioners about the abuse allegation in Jan. 2021.

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