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Priest Who Strip-Searched Boys Given Post at Riverside Retreat

June 07, 2003|Seema Mehta | Times Staff Writer

A Yucca Valley priest who resigned last year amid revelations that he strip-searched a group of seventh- and eighth-grade boys in Indianapolis a decade ago has been reassigned to a retreat in the hills of Riverside, the Diocese of San Bernardino announced Friday.

Father Ponciano Ramos will perform administrative duties at the Divine Word Retreat Center, which hosts teen retreats and also serves as a home for retired priests. Bishop Gerald R. Barnes approved the assignment.

At the retreat center, Ramos will not celebrate Mass, perform weddings or hear confessions.

Any contact with a minor must be supervised, said Father Howard Lincoln, a spokesman for the diocese. He said a Diocesan Review Committee recommended Ramos be returned to active ministry.

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