Photo: Lance Iversen / The Chronicle
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An Oakland priest placed on administrative leave after accusations of inappropriate sexual misconduct with a minor has now reportedly fled the country, officials confirmed.
Father Alex Castillo was living at a rectory in Oakland and reportedly was looking to live with friends for a few days immediately after he was placed on leave Jan. 30, the San Jose Mercury reported. The diocese said they last spoke with him Feb. 20, then were unable to reach him the following day.
A missing persons report was later filed on Feb. 23, after calls to jails and hospitals in the area failed to locate Castillo.
Oakland police eventually found Castillo, telling the diocese Friday that he had left the country, a diocese spokeswoman told the newspaper, stating that Castillo’s exact location was not disclosed to them.
Castillo had previously worked at the St. Anthony Parish in Oakley and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Fremont before he was placed on leave. He also taught at the Oakland Diocese’s St. Junipero Serra Catechetical Institute and served as the academic dean of Escuela de Ministerios Pastorales.
Castillo is originally from Costa Rica, where he joined the seminary before moving to the United States in 2008. He finishing his studies in Menlo Park at St. Patrick’s Seminary and was ordained in 2011.
When the Diocese of Oakland announced Castillo’s leave of absence, it did not provide details on the alleged misconduct, but stated that the matter was referred to police.
San Francisco Chronicle writer Gwendolyn Wu contributed to this report.
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/suspended-Oakland-priest-Alex-Castillo-13658541.php.