updated 8/9/2007 9:55:58 PM ET 2007-08-10T01:55:58

A Mexican priest has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for killing a son he did not want his superiors to discover, prosecutors said Thursday.

The Rev. Dagoberto Valle Arriaga confessed to killing his son, Oscar Emmanuel Valle Hernandez, two years ago, said the attorney general’s office for the central state of Mexico.

Valle, who fathered the child with a woman identified as Maria Felix Hernandez Espinoza, was afraid church officials would learn of the child’s existence and remove him from the priesthood, authorities said in a statement.

Valle was a Roman Catholic priest in the city of Texcoco, just east of Mexico City. A telephone call to the diocese in Texcoco was not returned Thursday.

Valle kidnapped his son in the city of Ecatepec, also in Mexico state, on Sept. 14, 2005, and brought him to the north-central state of Guanajuato, where he eventually killed him, the attorney general’s office said.

Authorities did not release the exact day of the murder, the age of the child or describe the circumstances. The Mexican Association of Missing Children reported that the child was 8 years old when he disappeared, shortly before his death.

Valle also faces a fine of $10,000.

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