Sex Crimes

Joseph Pina, Sex-Scandal Priest, Went To L.A. School District Despite Archdiocese Warning

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Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 5:44 PM

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Our jaw dropped a little when a state-and-local professional standards board revealed that porn-star-turned-teacher Stacie Halas' adult career had been found out by two other school districts before a third appeared to end her stint in California public classrooms.

Well, it happens.

KCET tonight is reporting that Joseph Pina, a "disgraced" ex-priest who had sexual relations with a teenage girl, ended up at the L.A. school district despite the local Catholic church's warnings:

Yeah, when asked by the district about Pina, the L.A. Archdiocese tells KCET that it gave the ex-priest, who resigned in 1998, a resounding thumbs down for potential employment around children.

Archdiocese Tod Tamberg told the station:

The Archdiocese received an employment questionnaire from the LAUSD in August 2001 regarding Joseph Pina. In response to the question: 'Should the Los Angeles Unified School District consider anything else regarding this candidate's employment suitability?' the Archdiocese checked the box, 'yes,' adding that we would 'not recommend him for a position in the schools.' In response to the next question on the form, 'Would you hire this person again?' the Archdiocese checked the box 'no.

Despite that, the spokesman says the Archdiocese never again heard from the district. In fact, LAUSD ended up hiring Pina as a "Community Outreach Organizer" in 2002.

Over the weekend more than one media organization realized that Pina's name was among the sex-abuse scandal files released last week by the Archdiocese as part of a 2007 legal settlement over molestation claims.

The district says he's no longer employed by the LAUSD.

We reached out to both Tamberg and an LAUSD spokeswoman for confirmation but had not heard back.

Pina is said to have become attracted to a 16-year-old girl while he was still a priest because he saw her "dressed as Snow White when she was in the eighth grade," the station says.

There will be more on the priest-abuse files tonight on KCET's SoCal Connected at 10.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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