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HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — A southeastern New Mexico priest facing sexual assault charges has surrendered to authorities.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Rev. Ricardo Bauza voluntarily surrendered to Hobbs police this week more than three months after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Bauza had been wanted by authorities since last October following allegations that he got into a shower with an adult male, and washed the victim’s body with a loofah in the church rectory at St. Helena in Hobbs.

His arrest came less than a week after the alleged victim in the criminal case filed a civil lawsuit against Bauza and the Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces.

According to a 15-page criminal complaint filed, two male church members also told police Bauza showed them cell phone photos of his genitals.


Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News,