Defrocked Priest Pleads Guilty in Tulia Sexual Abuse

Former Catholic Father John Anthony Salazar, 58, also known as John Salazar-Jimenez, pleaded guilty Monday in Swisher County ...
By James Clark

TULIA, TX -- Former Catholic Father John Anthony Salazar, 58, also known as John Salazar-Jimenez, pleaded guilty Monday in Swisher County according to the Plainview Daily Herald. Salazar agreed to accept a 10-year prison sentence in his plea deal for Indecency With a Child, the Herald reported. His victim was 12 years old at the time.

Mike Chriswell, Swisher County Attorney, was quoted by the Daily Herald as saying, “Because of the age of the case and after extensive consultations with the victim and the victim's family, an agreement was reached to dispose of the case.”

Salazar will be held in the Swisher County Jail until he can be transferred to the Texas Department of Corrections.

The case was important enough in the opinion of the Los Angeles Times to send a reporter to Tulia. Salazar had pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to a similar charge in 1987 – specifically the sexual abuse of two young boys. He served three years in prison. In 1991 he was brought to Tulia by the Diocese of Amarillo. Salazar changed his name to Salazar-Jimenez.

A reporter for the L.A. Times wrote on Monday, “Halfway between Amarillo and Lubbock, Tulia must have seemed an ideal place to hide.”

But that was by no means the end of the story. In late 2003 Salazar was visiting Dallas - and while there, he was accused of forcing himself on a young man who was intoxicated in a hotel room.

A jury in Dallas County convicted Salazar in 2004 and sentenced him to life in prison. But the conviction was tossed out on a technicality. Salazar took a plea bargain and served prison time until 2013.

The incident for which Salazar pleaded guilty happened in 2001 – before he served time in the Dallas case.
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