Danbury Priest Accused of Sex Abuse Appears in Court without Plea
By Peter Yankowski
February 19, 2020
|Photo: Contributed / Danbury Police Department|
DANBURY — A former priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe accused of sexually abusing one boy and groping another over the course of several years made a brief appearance in court Wednesday, but did not enter a plea.
Jaime Marin-Cardona was charged with three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury to child and three counts of illegal sexual contact after turning himself in to Danbury police on a warrant Jan. 3.
Marin-Cardona was present in Danbury Superior Court Wednesday, where his case was continued to March 13, the clerk’s office said.
Police learned of the abuse last September, after they were contacted by a church official about boundary violations and possible grooming of two children by the priest, according to the warrant for Marin-Cardona’s arrest.
In an interview with police, the priest admitted to touching the older of the two boys on his groin area several times over the course of four years. He also admitted to touching the younger boy on the buttocks once while the boy’s mother was out of the room.
The older boy told investigators Marin-Cardona began abusing him when he was 12.
His lawyer has said the 51-year-old intends to plead not guilty.
“I anticipate entering a not guilty plea,” said Robert Golger of Fairfield, Marin-Cardona’s criminal defense lawyer.
“My client maintains his innocence and is looking forward to his day in court,” he said.
Marin-Cardona has been out on bond since Jan. 31. As conditions of his release, the former priest was ordered to have no contact with either victim and wearing a tracking device. The Colombia native also surrendered his passport to authorities.
In addition to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Danbury, Marin-Cardona also worked at St. Joseph church in Norwalk and Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and St. Mary Church in Bridgeport, according to the diocese of Bridgeport.