Franklin priest removed from ministry as he’s investigated for child sex abuse claims

WTVF-NewsChannel 5 [Nashville TN]

January 7, 2024

By Brianna Hamblin

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Catholic priest has been removed from his position at a Franklin church while police investigate reports of child sexual misconduct against himHis name is Rev. Juan Carlos Garcia, and he was serving as the associate pastor at St. Philip Catholic Church, which is on Second Avenue South in Franklin.

The Diocese of Nashville shared that in November, St. Philip officials reported that a teen in the parish said there was improper touching involving Father Garcia.

It was then reported to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

The Diocese also hired a former FBI agent to investigate the report.

The Diocesan Review Board recommended removing Father Garcia from ministry while Franklin Police continue its investigation.

Before joining St. Phillip in 2022, Garcia was the associate pastor at St. Rose of Lima in Murfreesboro after he was ordained to the priesthood in 2020.

The case will be sent to the Williamson County DA’s office for review.

In the meantime, the Diocese wants to remind people that any person who suspects child sex abuse is required by law to make a report.

Anyone with information on Father Garcia is urged to contact Detective Andrea Clark with the Franklin Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 615-476-2809.