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Legion of Christ founder son accused of extortion

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) – A Mexico state judicial official said Tuesday the alleged son of the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Catholic order Legion of Christ, is in custody on attempted extortion charges.

The official said Jose Raul Gonzalez Lara had been detained but could post a $3,700 bail. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the press.

Legion spokesman Javier Bravo confirmed that the order had filed a criminal complaint against Gonzalez.

A Mexican woman divulged in 2010 that Maciel, a Roman Catholic priest, had fathered two of her children, including Gonzalez, and accused him of molesting both. The priest was also accused of fathering a daughter with a different woman.

The legion then said Gonzalez had asked for $26 million in exchange for his silence.

The Vatican took over the conservative order in 2010 after finding that Maciel, who died in 2007, abused seminarians and fathered at least three sons. In 1998, former legionaries publicly denounced Maciel, who was close to John Paul II. An investigation into the congregation concluded that the Legion’s culture had been infected by Maciel’s influence and needed to be purified.

Gonzalez’s lawyers could not be reached for comment.

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