Statement from the Diocese of Nashville

Diocese of Nashville [Nashville TN]

February 9, 2024

Rev. Juan Carlos Garcia, a former associate pastor at St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, has been indicted by the Williamson County grand jury on one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, one count of aggravated sexual battery, four counts of sexual battery by an authority figure, and two counts of sexual battery.

Father Garcia was removed from his position at the parish and from public ministry while an investigation into reports of sexual misconduct was under way by the Franklin Police Department. The Franklin Police Department began to investigate Father Garcia after representatives of the Diocese of Nashville contacted the police department to provide information it had received regarding alleged misconduct.

Father Garcia is expected to turn himself in to the Williamson County Jail for booking.

Father Garcia, who was ordained to the priesthood in 2020, was assigned to St. Philip in July 2022. He was associate pastor at St. Rose of Lima in Murfreesboro from the time of his ordination until he was assigned to St. Philip.

In early November, St. Philip officials reported to the Diocese of Nashville Safe Environment Office that a teen in the parish had made a report of improper touching involving Father Garcia.

Per diocesan protocols, a report was immediately made by the diocese and St. Philip representatives to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS).

Pursuant to the diocesan Safe Environment Policy, an outside investigator, who is a former FBI agent, was retained by the diocese to investigate the report.

The Diocese of Nashville Review Board was promptly convened to evaluate information available from the investigation and to advise the bishop. Pursuant to Review Board recommendation, Father Garcia was removed from active ministry. Further, the investigative report and all available information were provided to the Franklin Police Department on the diocese’s own initiative.

The investigation continues with the full cooperation of the diocese and its representatives, mindful of the due process accorded to all parties.

The diocese reiterates that any person who reasonably suspects that child sexual abuse has occurred is required by law to make a report to civil authorities. If the suspicion of abuse involves an employee or volunteer in a ministry or parish, a report should also be made to the Diocese of Nashville Safe Environment Coordinator.

Anyone with information regarding Father Garcia is urged to contact Detective Andrea Clark at the Franklin Police Department, phone number (615) 476-2809.

The diocese provides victim assistance to those who may have suffered abuse by someone in the ministries of the diocese or a parish, no matter how long ago the abuse might have occurred.

Information about reporting abuse and the victim assistance program is available on (

Click this link ( to read the diocese’s earlier statement regarding this matter.