Former Aurora priest fighting expert testimony in sex abuse case

  • Alfredo Pedraza-Arias is free on bond.

    Alfredo Pedraza-Arias is free on bond.

 
 
Updated 1/24/2017 4:36 PM

A 50-year-old former Aurora priest accused of sexual abuse plans to fight prosecutors' attempts to have child abuse experts testify at a future trial that "inconclusive exams and/or cultures do not disprove abuse."

Alfredo Pedraza-Arias of Rockford was arrested in early 2016 on charges he sexually abused two girls younger than 13 -- one at her Aurora home and another in an office at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora -- between January 2009 and November 2014.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Defense attorney David Camic is seeking any and all possible emails that were sent between police and investigators and four proposed experts.

"If the police and experts communicated, we need to know about it," he said. "It's a statement of witnesses in the case."

Camic also expressed skepticism of testimony from four experts who, according to court records, would testify as to "how inconclusive exams and/or cultures do not disprove abuse."

"(Prosecutors) want to have it both ways," Camic said.

According to the Rockford Diocese, Pedraza, who is from Colombia, came to the diocese in 2013, worked in Hispanic Ministry in the DeKalb Deanery and assisted at Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Good Counsel parishes in Aurora. He left the ministry in October 2014 while the sex abuse case was investigated.

According to Kane County court records, prosecutors have listed six nuns and 41 clergymen, including a monsignor,as possible witnesses should the case go to trial.

If convicted of the most severe charges, Pedraza faces six to 14 years in prison, along with lifetime registration as a sex offender.

He is free on bond and due in court March 17.

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