ASU professor resigns after being outed as sexually abusive priest
PHOENIX — An Arizona State University professor resigned this week after it was revealed that his priesthood was revoked by the Roman Catholic Church for sexually abusing children.
“Jaime Lara is no longer affiliated with Arizona State University,” the school said in a one-sentence statement.
Research professor James “Jaime” Lara was asked to resign after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn released a statement about Lara’s past.
The church said Lara was ordained in 1973. His priesthood was revoked in 1992 by the Vatican after the church learned he had sexually abused children.
The State Press said an unnamed ASU official approached Lara about the news on Thursday.
“We found out when the diocese posted it and somebody walked over to his office and said ‘You need to resign or we’re going to fire you,'” the official said. “And he said ‘OK, I’ll resign.'”
Lara primarily worked in a research position at ASU, but the school told the newspaper he had taught at least four courses to students as recently as 2016.
The same year he was dismissed from the church, Lara worked as a professor of arts and humanities in Bogota.
He returned to the United States and worked at various universities across the country before arriving at ASU four years ago.
He had earned a doctorate and three master’s degrees by 1995.