A Filipino priest has been charged with raping a teenage girl and recording the encounter five years ago in Philadelphia in the United States.
Armand Garcia, 49, surrendered to the Philadelphia police on Monday and confessed to raping a teenage girl and recording the act in August 2014. An investigation was conducted in 2018 after allegations that Garcia abused the girl between 2014 and 2017 came to light, The Inquirer reported.
The victim, who was 16 years old at the time of the incident, came forward and reported the crime when Garcia was transferred to a new parish in 2017. The victim was a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary church in Roxborough where she met Garcia.
Garcia turned himself in on Monday and later posted 10% of his US$250,000 bail. Garcia’s legal representative said the priest was arraigned on charges of rape, recording of a sex act and corruption of minor.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement that the allegations made against Garcia were “serious and disturbing” and stated that it will cooperate with law enforcement regarding the matter.
“The Archdiocese had no previous knowledge of the allegation and it was the first of its kind lodged against Father Garcia,” the Archdiocese said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 14.