Professor resigns after allegations he sexually abused minors as a priest
Posted November 13, 2017 10:47 a.m. EST
(CNN) — An art history professor at Arizona State University has resigned after allegations that he sexually abused at least three minors when he was a priest.
James "Jaime" Lara was ordained as a priest in 1973 and served in the church until 1992 when he was removed him from active ministry.
In a statement last week, the Diocese of Brooklyn included him in a list of those who had been "dispensed from the clerical state." The decree was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "which is the Vatican office authorized to deal with cases involving sexual abuse of minors by a cleric."
After he was barred from the church, Lara went on to teach at many prominent universities, according to his curriculum vitae.
He had been a research professor at Arizona State University since 2013.
Three male victims recently came forward to accuse Lara of sexual abuse while Lara was associated with St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Brooklyn in the 1970's and 1980's, the victims' lawyer, Michael Garabedian, told CNN.
When Arizona State officials learned about the abuse late last week, they asked Lara to resign.
"Jaime Lara is no longer affiliated with Arizona State University, effective Thursday, November 9," the university said in a statement to CNN.
The victims were all between the ages of 9 and 11 at the time of abuse, Garabedian said.