Pastor of Catholic Church Found Dead after Abuse Allegations

Associated Press State & Local Wire
June 13, 2003

Police said Friday that their investigation into the hanging death of a 49-year-old Catholic priest in his apartment points toward suicide.

The Rev. David Espitia, pastor of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Colorado City, was found dead about 9 a.m. An autopsy was ordered.

Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer said Espitia told him earlier in the week that someone was accusing him of sexually abusing a minor, the San Angelo Standard-Times reported in Saturday editions. He said Espitia denied the abuse, but was going to step aside temporarily.

Pfeifer said the priest had an exemplary record before the allegations.

A native of Coleman, Espitia had served as pastor of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Colorado City for almost four years.

Colorado City is about 100 miles southeast of Lubbock.


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