A Catholic deacon and charter school principal in Texas was arrested Friday by the Mission Police Department on a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Ronaldo Mitchell Chavez, 41, is accused of sexually abusing an altar boy. According to Action 4 News, the alleged abuse started when the victim was 15 years old.
The Monitor reported that Chavez worked as a principal at South Texas Educational Technologies, Inc. and ministered at San Cristobal de Magallanes parish in Mission, as well as another church in Granjeno.
The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville said in a statement that Chavez’s “faculties to minister as a deacon in the diocese were removed immediately in October 2012 when an allegation was reported to the parish priest and brought to the attention of the diocese.”
The superintendent of South Texas Educational Technologies said Chavez was immediately suspended upon his arrest.
As a school principal and a Catholic deacon, Chavez was in a position of trust and authority and he likely had unfettered access to children.
Sadly, most victims of child sexual abuse are abused by someone they know and trust.
It is my hope that every school and church that employed Chavez actively seeks out anyone who may have witnessed or suffered abuse by Chavez and urges them to speak to law enforcement.
A youth-serving organization must always take the safest course of action to protect children, and the best way to protect kids is to expose predators and the institutions that protect them.