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Goldstein: Former LA Priest Living With A Secret

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — With a large hat covering his face – and the passage of time covering his secrets – former priest Joseph Pina wasn’t talking.

“Mr. Pina, did you tell LAUSD about your past?” asked CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein.

“I have no comment,” Pina replied.

“Did you think you had to tell LAUSD about your past?” Goldstein asked.

“No comment right now,” replied Pina.

Goldstein caught up with Pina just after the Archodiocese released his formerly secret files in which he admitted to a psychologist that he fell in love with a 13-year-old girl in the late 80s.

Pina said he touched the girl sexually, saying, “She dressed as Snow White and it triggered some memories for me….I had a crush on Snow White.”

“You admitted to having sexual relations with a young girl?” Goldstein asked.

“I have no comment,” Pina replied.

After he retired, Pina worked for LAUSD until he was laid off last year.

Public records show Pina lived in South Los Angeles for at least the last 10 years, his window looking out across the street at an LAUSD school.

Because he hasn’t been convicted and is not a registered sex offender, there’s nothing prohibiting Pina from living near a school.

Even so, parents are troubled.

“I have a daughter, cousins, nieces, other people’s children going to that school,” said one mom. “That’s ridiculous. They need to do something about that.”

Pina was investigated in 2002 for another alleged sex crime that happened in the church, but charges were never filed. Now these new allegations have Sheriff’s detectives opening a new case.

“We heard about this case only because one, the media coverage, and two, the records being released to the public. We were never notified by the Catholic church, the Archdiocese concerning the second victim,” said

The statute of limitations goes back to 1988, so Pina may be prosecuted depending on the exact date.

But he’s not talking.

“The police are now looking into this. Are you concerned about that?” he was asked.

“I have no comment,” Pina replied. “Excuse me, have a good day. Thank you.”

David Goldstein, CBS2 News

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