Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

Former priest suspected of child abuse left LA archdiocese for LAUSD

by Take Two

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Victoria Martin, an alleged victim of sexual abuse by a priest, holds a quilt with faces of other victims at the Los Angeles County Courthouse on July 16, 2007. David McNew/Getty Images

More accusations of child sexual abuse are coming out of the files from the Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles.  One former Catholic priest who was accused of extensive sexual misconduct with minors went on to work at L.A. Unified School District.

Joseph Pina left the church to work a community organizer for the LAUSD where he tried to rally support for the building of new schools. LAUSD has said he did not have direct contact with children in the district, but did meet with families in the community.

LAUSD schools superintendent John Deasy told the LA Times that Pina did not work directly with children and didn't know if the district was aware of Pina's past before they hired him. 

Church officials had labeled Pina "a serious risk for acting out" after he told them about an attraction to an eighth grade girl. It's the latest in a series of sexual abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic church here in LA. Priests at parishes across the city are dealing with how to talk to their congregations about the recent scandals.

Reporter Hailey Branson-Potts from the LA Times visited the Cathedral of the Our Lady of the Angeles in Downtown LA on Sunday. She joins the show with an update. 

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