Pastor Resigns at Mision San Juan Diego

By Sheila Ahern
Daily Herald [Chicago IL]
November 27, 2006

The longtime pastor of the Misión San Juan Diego church in Arlington Heights has resigned while the Archdiocese of Chicago continues to investigate an alleged sexual assault that took place in the church's rectory.

The Rev. Moises Marin resigned and a few weeks ago a new priest took over his duties, said Susan Burritt, director of media relations for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

"(Marin) voluntarily resigned," Burritt said. "He is still a priest of the archdiocese, but currently he does not have an assignment."

A 26-year-old Palatine man alleges he was sexually assaulted by the Rev. Juan Sanchez-Espinoza on Aug. 5 at the parish's rectory, which is located in Palatine. Sanchez-Espinoza was living at the San Juan Diego rectory at the time, but he was not assigned to the parish, Burritt said.

Last week, the man filed a lawsuit against the archdiocese, Sanchez-Espinoza and Marin. The lawsuit alleges Marin took pictures of the sexual abuse and told the man not to contact the authorities.

Marin and Sanchez-Espinoza could not be reached for comment Monday.

The Palatine Police Department initially investigated the man's claim but did not file criminal charges against either priest, said Cmdr. Sam Maki.

"In all likelihood, no criminal complaint will be issued unless something new or unexpected comes up," Maki said.

However, the archdiocese is sill looking into the complaint, Burritt said.

"It's still being investigated," she said. "We'll take as much time as needed."

After the man made the complaint in August, Marin was relocated to another parish's rectory. Sanchez-Espinoza was placed at a private residence. Burritt is not sure where the men are living today.

Marin had been at the parish since 1999 and is credited with building the church's membership and its profile in the community. Before coming to San Juan Diego, he was an associate pastor at St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago.

Burritt was not sure if Marin submitted a resignation letter to the archdiocese.

The Rev. Juan Bosco Jimenez Garcia was named the administrator and took over Marin's duties last month, Burritt said.

Garcia, 46, is a native of Mexico who has worked as an associate pastor at St. John Bosco Church in Chicago.



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