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Sexual assault charge dropped against former Hobbs priest

July 17, 2018

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — The case against a former Hobbs Catholic priest accused of criminal sexual contact has been dismissed.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the criminal charge against former St. Helena Catholic Church priest Ricardo Bauza was tossed last week just days before he was slated to stand trial.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Dianna Luce declined to comment Thursday about the dismissal.

Bauza voluntarily surrendered to Hobbs police in February 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 attorney, Jason Bowles, says the dismissal was “the appropriate decision.”

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Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, http://www.hobbsnews.com