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Pedophile 'Bishop' Sentenced to 330 Years in Prison

'You are a predator,' a judge told Oscar D. Perez, before sending him to prison for molesting five young boys. A congregation member defends the minister.

Laguna Hills, CA – Any good works performed by the leader of a small Laguna Hills congregation, were "wiped out" by the sexual assaults he committed against five young boys he was grooming as "ministers," a California judge said Friday.

Oscar D. Perez, 69, was sentenced to 330 years in state prison, the maximum possible, for molesting boys who trusted him implicitly—in some cases more than their own family, Orange County Judge Steven Bromberg said at the sentencing.

"You are a predator," Bromberg told the pedophile priest through a Spanish-language translator in the Santa Ana courtoom. "You are dangerous, and whatever can be accomplished to keep you in prison" should be done.

Earlier, a member of Perez's congregation praised the minister, choking up as he spoke. Gabriel Salgado said Perez helped families stay together during tough times and kept young members of the congregation out of trouble.

"If it wasn't for him, it would have been me in [court]," said Salgado, who has known Perez 14 years and likened him to a grandfather.

Even in prison, Perez will continue to help others and do good, Salgado predicted.

The judge disagreed, saying "the defendant is not a good person" and his actions were "despicable."

If anything, the trial merely scratched the surface of Perez's transgressions, the judge said. "These were not isolated incidents," Bromberg said, referring to "disturbing and graphic" evidence presented during the case. "This conduct ... was pervasive."

After the sentencing, prosecutor Jennifer Walker said she was proud of the young victims who gave testimony in court for their courage during the trial. "Now they've had their day of justice," she said.

During the trial, Perez's attorney, Case Barnett, blamed the accusations on "misunderstandings" and said his client was actually giving the boys sex education and tips on hygiene.

Barnett attributed the criminal charges to "public hysteria and police influence," claiming investigators pressured the boys into allegations against Perez.

Perez claimed to be a bishop at Iglesia Antigua, or Old Church, which at the time of his arrest rented space at St. George's Episcopalian Church in Laguna Hills. Perez's church is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church or the Diocese of Orange. His church has largely disbanded, with only some members who get together for Bible study, Barnett said.

  • Read more about the trial: 

Perez was arrested in September 2011 after the mother of a young boy who had recently slept over at the pastor's Lake Forest home called police.

  • Read more about the initial arrest: 

After Perez was convicted, the jury foreman wrote an article for Patch describing the trial.

  • Read the jury foreman's account:
Tony September 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM
this defense attorney needs a beating!
Shawn September 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM
If he were Catholic they would have just wisked him off to another location, paid a million dollars and swept it under the carpet. Pedophiles, chose your dioces carefully. Stay catholic and you are allowed to molest freely.
Drumb47 September 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM
There are many fake preachers and churches springing up throughout the World as prophesied in the Bible. Our Christian community needs to help weed out those who are taking advantage of others in the name of the Lord.
myangel82 September 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM
so glad a Judge did their job correctly..so very sad how could anyone do this children so very sad God bless those families. God bless our America USA http://www.tonic.com/post/carmela-wiant-money-burge-next-of-kin-law-changing-lives/
Drumb47 September 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Did you ever read the article? This man was not a Catholic priest.
BARBARA September 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM
There should be one prison or island for ALL of these pedophiles. Let them live together. Maybe on bread and water. Discusting group and I think even worst are the one's that claim they are doing G-ds work!
Red Sam Rackham September 16, 2012 at 01:32 PM
And feed him his own Rocky Mountain Oysters as his last meal, eh?
Red Sam Rackham September 16, 2012 at 01:34 PM
A child molester priest will get "special" treatment from his fellow inmates in prison if U know what I mean ... wink wink ... nudge nudge ... Say No More!
Red Sam Rackham September 16, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Perhaps along with castration these pervs could also be lobotomized. That would leave them feebleminded & non-violent thus no longer a danger to anyone. Then instead of a max prison they could be placed in homes for ssimple minded folks where they could earn their keep doing daily chores. With more states abolishing the death penalty this (castration + lobotomy) could also be a good way to deal with murderers and solve the problem of prison overcrowding. Think about it, folks! U 2, Penny ...☺
Joe Papierz Jr September 16, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Many comments tried to shift partial blame onto the parents saying "How could anyone trust their kids to a pedofile?" For those who can't read AND think at the same time I will point out that these offenses occurred during the 40 some years he was an officer of his church. Several decades ago it was considered safe to entrust your children with Boy Scout leaders and church officials. Because Oscar D. Perez is 69 years old. The article does show us that once a man has abused a child he is likely to continue as long as he lives until or unless he is caught and stopped.It also pointed out he was “a self appointed” Bishop not ordained by any recognized religion.
Mariet September 16, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Seems like many here have missed the real issue. Parents need to accept responsibility for their offspring. It's the parents job to train and protect their children from all harm.(observe the "animal kingdom"--other than humans) Our culture now says" blame everyone else. It can't be our fault." The world is full of "bad seeds" and always has been. "Adults... grow up...accept our part in this and lets stop it, the best we can." Protect the innocent instead of blaming someone or something else. Criminals (dangerous to humans, not our pocket book) "convicted" (by the court-not the media) should be locked up without parole, period!! (don't say it's too expensive--spend some of my tax paying $$ on this rather than a "new" bridge, park, street, building, toilet seat, painted walls, etc.) and attempt to solve the problem--not complain about it.)
Red Sam Rackham September 16, 2012 at 02:18 PM
To those who say forgiving this creep is the righteous thing to do; sorry, but some crimes are unforgivable. And BTW this "bishop" has never been affiliated with the Catholic church. My guess is he got his ministry credentials and his bishop title thru a mail order ministry. Anybody can do that. This is not a holy person; it's a deviant predator posing as a holy person. He deserves no sympathy despite whatever good deeds he did in the past.
John Casy September 16, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Goos luck Oscar D. Perez, A example should be made of that judge and DA. I hope someone holds that judge accountable for his actions putting you in jail for 330 years. Again good luck guy !
wilson September 16, 2012 at 02:35 PM
The British had a study which indicate pedophiles have over a 99% recidivist rate. The cost of keeping this fellow in prison adds to the argument that he should be eliminated. I would suggest that people in this category should have their organs harvested to that some good can result from these terrible crimes. Also as a retired catholic, I wonder if he would have had such a severe punishment had be been a catholic. Bishops and higher ranking members of this church seem to be immune from jail sentences.
V is for Vengeance September 16, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The anti-religious bigotry espoused in these comments is remarkable. It is no wonder that religious freedom, the last stop gap against total governmental tyranny, is quickly being swept aside. The government now owns huge swaths of our economy (including some of the largest such as automotive, health care, finance, insurance, and education). And you are frightened by a handful of pedophiles in religious groups? Yeah, nevermind that the government employs far more pedophiles than all churches combined (they work in the public schools, morons). No, just keep attacking religious institutions--that will save you. Give the government the power to put people in prison for life for molesting kids--we don't even put murderers in prison for life any more. Hell, we condone the slaughter of our unborn children. But molestation, that is the unforgivable crime (and I was molested, so don't start...) This is all a dog and pony show. Get the people angry at religion and you remove the only check against governmental power. Dope them up with government handouts and give them a straw man at whom to vent their anger. Genius. The coming meltdown will be terrible, and you sycophants will deserve every moment of it.
Richard Pawley September 16, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Lollipop10 says, “How we arrived at this terrible place where no one is safe, I do not know.” Sadly, I do! Since 1973 we have 56,000,000 less citizens which we are replacing with illegal aliens. Then the ‘gay agenda’ which our state department is doing their best to foster on other countries by withholding foreign aid, and we are also pressuring others to use GMO foods which are banned in over two dozen nations while 27 million dollars is being spent to keep Californians from passing Prop. 37 and knowing what is in their foods. According to the Wikileaks documents we are even forcing the Iraqis to use GMO. Then there is the avarice, greed, lust for money and power, and the fact that we are the largest purveyor of pornography in the world. I could go on but David Gorfinkle says “I do not see this case as a moral indictment of the American way of life.” Perhaps not just this one case but when you take this and the children we import for child sex slaves and on and on, well I can tell you what God thinks about what we are doing. I was praying last November 19 and in a voice like steel, a tone I had never heard before, I clearly heard, “My hand of judgment will stretch forth and all will feel it, some much more than others. Fear not!” My last book was on this very subject . Believers of course can pray about these things. If they don’t they have no one to blame but themselves. My advice, get out of LA by 2014 but time will tell as it always does.
NPW September 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Dear Rick, you are showing your age or naivete. But in all fairness to you, I thought the same until I began to see the parents of this generation. May God help the children they produce.
merne September 16, 2012 at 04:00 PM
the title says BISHOP and it's NOT it's some sick guy who opened his own little church. good one trying to get readers by MISLEADING!
no_spin ron September 16, 2012 at 04:10 PM
True Merne, Why would you give this guy a "Bishop" title. You can go online and buy these titles for $49.95 These guy are self ordained and as it says in the articule he has no affiliations with Episcopal or Roman Catholic organizations. He is just a regular pedifile pervert that gave himself the name of "Bishop" to gain trust and to manipulate young minds. Just the same as Jerry Sandusky did with his "second mile" charity home for young troubled boys.
Michael Gallagher September 16, 2012 at 04:16 PM
It needs to be clearly noted that this slime is not a member of the Roman Catholic Church - it is some kind of church that he invented.
gene marinacci sr September 16, 2012 at 04:35 PM
the lawyer should get time also for saying he was teaching sex and hygene that is a defense lawyer for you
Patricia Burns September 16, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I agree that the perpetrator should be punished for his actions. We need to remember that in the prayer, The Our Father, we are told to forgive others as we forgive ourselves. If we dont forgive, we are attached spiritually to that person so what he does wrong, drags us down. Forgiving is breaking the tie and frees us to go forward and be better persons. This does not mean that the perpetrator goes free, he needs to be punished for his acts. We forgive our kids for the things they do wrong, but they are punished for their actions nevertheless.
Patrick September 16, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I agree it is misleading. When I first saw the article, I assumed it was about a Catholic priest. However I would like to point out that the very fact that he was not a Catholic priest was a major reason for his 333 year sentence. How many Catholic priests have gotten that amount of time even though they committed the same type of abuse and in some instances with many, many more victims. This bishop deserves what he got, but I hope the courts would mete out the same sentences to his Catholic counterparts and stop bending over backwards to give them a break.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM
It's not against our policy to advocate for or against the death penalty. However, that post did cuss, and that IS against our Terms of Use (found at the bottom of every page), so it is deleted. Thank you for calling it to my attention. No cussing,everyone, whether masked or spelled out. Thanks!
Ray Rainwater September 16, 2012 at 07:38 PM
sandpiper77@aol.com I've covered this site completely, and as heinous as these crimes are I haven't read one comment for a punishment for the Catholic Priest and Bishops who sodomised countless numbers of children. After reading all thee heinous details nothing was done except relocate the priest to another parish and hope he will stop sexuallly abusing children. The bishops and others in the hierarchy were just as guilty by attempting a coverup, and for them to knowingly send a Pedophile priest to another parish after knowing what he had done in his own parish--they never stop abusing children, they abuse simply because they were abused. I also read a short article suggesting we should try the muslim faith. The Muslims in almost every Muslim nation are killing Americans on a daily basis. My question to the Muslim who wrote that short diatribe, would the Muslim countries be willing to take Barack Hussein Obama out of America. A lot of people are filled with hatred against Muslims who flew airliners into The World Trade Center, murdering over 3000 of good Christian citizens in our country. We just an anniversary remembering the American's whom were murdered by Muslims. If you Muslims would turn to our God,and his son Jesus Christ, he will put a love in your muslim hearts for all people. The catholic church needs to check their clergy for signs of pedophilia, a blessing doesn't stop the predator.
Phil Bronner September 17, 2012 at 04:02 AM
In response to Austin Sands....check your numbers...Public school teachers molest more children than any other group combined....not Catholic priests, not Scout leaders, not nasty uncles....school teachers....
Phil Bronner September 17, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Shawn...public school teachers...according to their OWN research molest many more children than priests ever thought of doing!!! Wake up!!
Tricia McDaris September 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I sat on this jury, and the title "bishop" wasn't made up by this paper. This creep's "parishioners" called him that. During testimony, the boys repeatedly referred to him as "obispo," the Spanish word for bishop.
Jason lee November 26, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Pastor Lee McFarland, Radiant church, surprise AZ. is a class A predator!
james pen December 04, 2012 at 09:48 AM
Pastor Lee McFarland of Radiant Church (Assemblies of GOD) Surprise, Arizona is a sexual predator. He is quite skillful at fooling others. He pretends to be Godly in order to scam others. He has been caught, but has moved onto other churches and fresh meat. Please be warned of this pure evil that exists amongst us!

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