Lawsuit alleges California ex-priest abused 2 boys after Roman Catholic church knew of past

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LOS ANGELES — A lawsuit alleges that Roman Catholic church officials in Los Angeles placed a priest who was a known child molester back into ministry in Santa Paula, where he abused two more young boys.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, details allegations that date back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, after the Rev. Carlos Rene Rodriguez had already been sent to out-of-state treatment for molesting a 16-year-old boy, church files state.

Rodriguez was convicted of molesting two other boys in 2004, years after the fact and was placed on the state's sex offender registry upon his release.

He was defrocked in 1998 at his own request and now lives in Huntington Park.

The current lawsuit alleges that Rodriguez, who belonged to a religious order called the Vincentians, was placed back into ministry in Santa Paula to work with Spanish-speaking families after getting psychological treatment in Maryland.

At his new post, he molested two young boys whose families attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, according to court papers.

The two came forward in August 2014 after being contacted by a private investigator looking into molestation claims involving another priest, said plaintiff attorney Anthony De Marco.

The archdiocese has not seen the lawsuit and couldn't comment immediately, said Monica Valencia, an archdiocese spokeswoman.

Rodriguez, now 59, couldn't be reached for comment on the latest allegations but told The Associated Press in 2013 that his conduct "still weighs heavy on me" and he still feels remorse.

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