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State seeks to keep ex-priest, alleged sex abuser in jail

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Prosecutors are seeking to keep a former priest locked up as he awaits trial on allegations that he sexually abused a young altar server over a period of around two years.

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Sabine Griego

Sabine Griego, 81, will remain in the county jail at least until a detention hearing in state District Court, which has not yet been scheduled. He made his first appearance in Metropolitan Court on Wednesday before Judge Linda Rogers. Griego, wearing bright orange jail scrubs, appeared from the jail via video conference and stood quietly beside a public defense lawyer.

Although Griego’s criminal case centers on charges involving only one child, prosecutors say he has been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than three dozen children. He was removed from the priesthood in 2005.

Griego’s criminal case involves allegations that he violently raped the girl multiple times, beginning in the late 1980s when she was a 7-year-old second-grader at Queen of Heaven Catholic School. On one occasion, court documents say, Griego slammed her face into a table, breaking her nose. He continued to rape her as she bled profusely, prosecutors allege.

Griego is also accused of telling the child that he would kill her, cut out her tongue or hurt her mother if she ever told.

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