Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Suspect Ex-Priest Slits His Wrists

April 18, 2002|RICHARD WINTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A retired priest living in the rectory at Our Lady of Guadalupe church in El Sereno apparently attempted suicide this week after learning that the Los Angeles Police Department was investigating him for alleged child abuse, authorities said.

Father Stephen Hernandez, 68, cut his wrists and took an overdose of pills, police said. The priest, who was found Monday morning, is listed in stable condition at an undisclosed hospital, police said.

"He is the subject of an ongoing investigation into sexual abuse of minors," said LAPD Capt. Sharyn Buck.

The investigation is one of several being conducted by the LAPD's Sexually Exploited Child Unit. Buck said investigators are examining about 50 reports of abuse from alleged victims or the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Some reports involve the same individuals, she said.

Hernandez, who was ordained in 1982, tried to take his life after police investigators contacted him while checking a tip, sources said.

The pastor of the parish was unavailable for comment Wednesday. Archdiocesan officials said they were aware of the probe. "The LAPD is conducting an investigation and we are cooperating with authorities," said Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

Hernandez retired from the ministry in 1997 at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Mercury Avenue, but continued to work at the parish. The church also operates a school with 425 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|