Conroe priest suggested trade of sexual favors with another priest, new court records say

Saturday, December 14, 2019
New allegations brew against priest
New allegations brew against priest

CONROE, Texas (KTRK) -- New allegations have surfaced against a Conroe priest at the center of a sex abuse scandal.

According to new court records, Father Manuel La Rosa Lopez allegedly propositioned another priest in a Galveston County hotel and suggested a trade of sexual favors in exchange for the priest to be assigned to a larger parish.

La Rosa Lopez allegedly invited the priest to his hotel room in May 2018 to discuss the proposition. Court records state when the priest declined, La Rosa Lopez allegedly told him he "should be proud" of performing such favors on "an episcopal vicar."

The priest reported the incident immediately to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

The new court records also reveal an additional allegation in which La Rosa Lopez is accused of groping and raping a woman several times in 2005 while she was working at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land.

Sugar Land Police say the victim reported her attacks to St. Theresa Catholic Church in September 2018. An employee at the church then reported the claims to police. Sugar Land Police say time has run out to file charges on the 2005 allegations, but they turned the case over to Conroe investigators who are taking in all claims against the priest.

ABC13 reached out to the Archdiocese Galveston-Houston for a statement on the most recent allegations, but they declined to comment.

A message left with his defense attorney, Wendell Odom, was not immediately returned.

No charges have been filed regarding the new allegations.

La Rosa Lopez is currently facing four charges of indecency with a child by contact, a second degree felony and one charge of indecency with a child by exposure, a third degree felony.

His fifth charge in the allegations that he sexually abused children in the 1990s to early 2000s.

A lawsuit, which was filed against the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston priest back in April, revealed disturbing details in one of the cases.

According to the lawsuit, La Rosa Lopez allegedly exposed himself to a then-15-year-old during confession.

READ MORE: Lawsuit claims Father Manuel La Rosa Lopez exposed himself to a teen during confession in 2000

In the lawsuit, the victim, whose identity has not been released, states he confessed his homosexuality to La Rosa Lopez in the summer of 2000. During confession, the victim said La Rosa Lopez asked him very descriptive and vulgar questions.

According to the lawsuit, in the midst of confession, La Rosa Lopez allegedly "proceeded to open the partition window in the confessional booth and exposed (himself)."

The lawsuit states the victim began seeing a therapist in the summer of 2017, where he spoke about his encounter with La Rosa Lopez.

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