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Catholic World News

Illinois CCD teachers face felony child-porn charges

March 19, 2015

An Illinois man who faces child-pornography charges was teaching religious-education classes in a Catholic parish.

John Gabriel and his partner, Margarita Hernandez, face felony charges. An attorney representing Hernandez told reporters that “the Catholic Church had notified John Gabriel about this investigation.”

A spokesman for prosecutors explained, however, that Church officials were obliged to take action when they learned of the police investigation, because Gabriel and Hernandez were teaching young people in religious-education classes. “When (the) Chicago Police Department (was) alerted to this, they went to the church,” the spokesman said. “Rightfully so, the defendant and Margarita Hernandez should not be by—by teenaged children.”

When the Church officials (who were not identified) spoke with Gabriel and Hernandez—presumably to tell them that they could no longer serve as religion instructors—the defendants realized that they had been caught. It is not clear whether that realization has played any role in the criminal case against them.

 


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