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Conroe Priest Indicted On Two Counts Of Child Indecency

Manuel LaRosa-Lopez was originally charged in Montgomery County last September. His next scheduled court date is May 13.

Manuel LaRosa-Lopez.
Manuel LaRosa-Lopez.

A Montgomery County grand jury has indicted Houston-area Catholic priest Manuel LaRosa-Lopez on two of four counts of child indecency charges arising from child sex abuse allegations, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday.

The indictments are connected to allegations made by a female parishioner about incidents that happened in March 2001, while LaRosa-Lopez was a priest assigned to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe.

The charges against LaRosa-Lopez are second degree felonies. The other two felony counts are still pending.

LaRosa-Lopez was originally charged in Montgomery County on September 10, 2018.

He was booked into the Montgomery County jail on September 11, 2018, and was released on September 13, 2018, after making at $375,000 bond. The case is being handled in the 435th District Court in Conroe.

On November 28, 2018, the Conroe Police Department, Texas Rangers, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and other agencies executed a search warrant at the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

It was the fourth search warrant executed in the joint law enforcement investigation of LaRosa-Lopez.

Law enforcement agencies previously executed search warrants at St. John Fisher Catholic Church in Richmond on September 12, 2018; Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe on September 17, 2018; and the Shalom Treatment Center in Splendora on September 19, 2018. 

The primary purpose of the search warrants was to gather documents, records, electronics and other evidence in the investigation of LaRosa-Lopez.

The Texas office of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) reacted to to the news with a statement that said the indictment “sends the message that those who hurt children can and will be held accountable, even if delayed by the mishandling of allegations by church officials.”

“We hope that this indictment encourages others in Texas who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward and make a report to local police and district attorneys,” SNAP’s statement added.

LaRosa-Lopez’s next scheduled court date is May 13 at 1:30 p.m.

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