81-year-old former priest Sabine Griego charged with raping 8-year-old girl 30 years ago in New Mexico
The charges against him state that he allegedly took the child under the pretext of playing a "special game", following which he assaulted her for the first time when she was 7.
A 81-year-old former priest has been charged with raping an 8-year-old minor, almost 30 years ago when he was working as a clergy member in Queen of Heaven Roman Catholic Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Sabine Griego allegedly raped the child between 1990 and 1991 during his time at the Catholic Church. The charges against him state that he allegedly took the child under the pretext of playing a "special game", following which he assaulted her for the first time when she was 7. Court records also accuse Griego of sexually assaulting 38 children in New Mexico from the mid-1960s through to the early 1990s, according to KOB 4.
The publication reported that this first incident of sexual assault caused the child to puke following which Griego allegedly forced the minor to clean it up. The accused allegedly started repeating the assault regularly on the child, where he would take her from class to the rectory and abuse her. The victim has also said that she would sometime be given wine to drink.
The abuse started for the victim when she was a second grader at the Queen of Heaven Catholic School. At first, he would spend time with her after school and during lunch hours and she also revealed that he offered her "weird black Halloween candy" during this time, the warrant reportedly states.
In addition, the warrant also reportedly states that the priest used a wooden spoon to assault the child and then beat her with it. The assault escalated and he started raping her when she was 8.
The details that the girl, stated as "Jane Doe A" in the warrant, has revealed are chilling. She has reportedly told the investigators that when he started raping her, he would slam her down, cover her mouth with his hand and do the deed. This was done in a room that the priests used to get dressed before Mass. She reportedly bit his hand while it covered her mouth but the priest smacked her and continued the act. Another incident that the victim revealed was from the time she was 9. During one such incident, Griego broke her nose, slamming her face on a table after he became angry with her.
The child was taken to the hospital from school and her mother was told that the child had hurt herself during a PE class. The child did not tell her parents about the rape for many years and the case was brought forth to police only last year. The warrant reportedly states that the priest had threatened her with violence, saying he would kill her, cut her tongue out or hurt her mother if she complained about the incidents to anybody.
Agents of the Attorney General's Office have obtained X-rays from Lovelace Hospital, where Jane Doe A was taken during the incident, dated to November 1991, which indicate trauma to her nose occurred that year.
Griego has been reportedly charged with one count of sexual penetration of a minor and coercion resulting in great bodily harm and mental anguish. He is currently at the San Miguel County Detention Center in Las Vegas, where he is being held without a bond.
The Attorney General's Office also implies that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe was aware of the incident and allegations for more than 15 years. The priest was put on leave from church reportedly in 1993. The warrant also reportedly talks about a letter written and signed in 2004 by the then Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan that was marked as "confidential" and is said to have had "direct evidence" of the knowledge of the allegations.