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San Antonio Current

San Antonio-area priest accused of assaulting elderly woman who worked for church

By Sanford Nowlin,

The priest now faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, a first-degree felony.
Authorities have arrested a Catholic priest who served in at least eight San Antonio-area churches on allegations that he sexually abused a woman in her 70s, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said in a Tuesday briefing.

Rev. George Mbugua Ndungu, also known as Father Wanjiru, now faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, a first-degree felony, according to BCSO. Ndungu, a native of Kenya, was assigned to the San Antonio area as a priest in 2017.

Ndungu's alleged victim — a church employee and parishioner at San Antonio's St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church — told BSCO investigators the priest sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions starting in November 2022, according to Salazar.

BCSO began its investigation Sept. 19 after the San Antonio Archdiocese shared information on Ndungu collected during its own probe of claims against the clergyman, the sheriff added.

Salazar said Ndungu assaulted the woman after she reached out to him for spiritual guidance as she underwent changes in her life.

"He very much groomed this victim, you know, gained her confidence," Salazar said. "Obviously, she's a very religious person, very involved in the church, and he just totally abused that."

In addition to his time at St. Rose of Lima, Ndungu worked at churches including Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church and St. Gabriel Catholic Church, all in San Antonio, according to BCSO. He also worked at St. Ann Catholic Church in La Vernia, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Stockdale, St. Peter and Paul in New Braunfels and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Canyon Lake.

Ndungu's arrest comes roughly six weeks after the San Antonio Archdiocese announced it had stripped two other area priests of duty and reported them to authorities over allegations they sexually assaulted minors.

Salazar encouraged other possible victims or witnesses to contact BCSO at (210) 335-6000, even if they encountered Ndungu during his time at churches outside Bexar County.

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