Our Lady of La Salette Church (Photo via Google Maps)

Bayside bishop faces 10 years to life for alleged sexual abuse against 12-year-old parishioner

A spiritual leader at a traditionalist church in Bayside was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage boy in his congregation over the course of three years, prosecutors announced Friday.

Bishop Jesé (Jesse) Milagrosa, 69, was arraigned on Thursday, Dec. 5 on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child, first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, and first-, second- and third-degree criminal sexual act. He was held on $250,000 bail and ordered to return to court on Dec. 20.

“The defendant is accused of using his position as head of the church to take advantage of an innocent child for his own sexual gratification.” said Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan.

According to the investigation, the victim became an active member of Our Lady of La Salette Church, a traditionalist Catholic church, at a young age and allegedly spent a lot of time outside of school with Milagrosa. Beginning on or about May 12, 2011, Milagrosa allegedly engaged in sexual acts with the victim, who was 12 years old at the time. The sexual conduct allegedly continued on and off until April 16, 2014.

On Oct. 28, 2018, the victim confronted Milagrosa about the alleged sexual acts with him as a child and allegedly recorded the conversation. At the time of his arrest, Milagrosa also allegedly admitted to detectives stating in Spanish, in sum and substance, that he had both oral and anal contact with the victim.

If convicted, Milagrosa faces up to 10 years to life in prison.

Emily Davenport