Priest Enters Guilty Plea

By Karen Freifeld
Newsday [New York]
June 18, 2003

A Catholic priest admitted Thursday that he fondled a 16-year-old altar boy in a Washington Heights church last year.

The Rev. Jorge Patricio Pintado, 39, made the admission in pleading guilty to endangering the welfare of a child.

As part of a plea deal, he was promised a conditional discharge and five days of community service. He also cannot contact the boy.

Pintado, who is from Ecuador, was arrested in September after the teenager told his parents the priest fondled him while they were in the rectory of the Church of Good Shepherd in upper Manhattan. The boy also said Pintado inappropriately embraced him on a number of other occasions.

Pintado was attached to the Archdiocese of New York from October 1999 to January 2000, when he abruptly left St. Joan of Arc in the Bronx.

He had been saying mass in Spanish at Good Shepherd part-time for more than three years.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Richard Weinberg set sentencing for Aug. 20.

Pintado had been charged with third-degree sexual abuse, but was allowed to plead guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, a higher misdemeanor charge.

Without being convicted of a sex charge, however, Pintado does not have to register as a sex offender, said Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney.

It was unclear whether he will be deported.


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