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Officials raid Archdioceses of Galveston-Houston office in downtown Houston

Raid in connection with sexual abuse allegations against Conroe priest

HOUSTON – Officials served a search warrant Wednesday morning at the offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Authorities said the warrant was served in connection with claims of sexual abuse involving Rev. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, a Houston-area priest accused of abusing children at a Catholic church in Conroe.

La Rosa-Lopez was arrested in mid-September and charged with four counts of indecency with a child involving sexual contact. He was accused of abuse during his time at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe from the late 1990s to early 2000s.

A representative for the Archdioceses told KSAT's sister station in Houston, Click2Houston, that officials are cooperating with investigators and provided them with the following statement:

"This morning, the District Attorney of Montgomery County executed a search warrant for records and information related to an ongoing investigation. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston continues to cooperate, as we have since the outset, with this process. In fact, consistent with Cardinal DiNardo’s pledge of full cooperation, the information being sought was already being compiled. 

"The reporting of a 'secret archives' is merely a Church term pertaining to confidential documents kept in a secure manner for the protection of the privacy of individuals — not unlike medical records. 

'Pending additional information or developments, the Archdiocese will have no further comment on this ongoing investigation.'"

Authorities said this is the fourth search warrant that has been served as part of the investigation.

Officials with the district attorney's office told Click2Houston Wednesday's warrant was meant to gather documents, records, electronics and other evidence believed to be connected to the case.

La Rosa-Lopez is expected to plead not guilty during his next court appearance in January, according to Click2Houston.