Franklin pastor charged with sex crimes remains jailed on $2M bond

The News [Nashville, TN]

March 4, 2024

By Matt Masters

Former Franklin St. Philip Catholic Church associate pastor Juan Carlos Garcia Mendoza appeared in court on Monday and remains jailed on a $2 million bond.

31-year-old Mendoza appeared in court for what was initially set to be a bond reduction hearing, but his attorney Brent O. Horst pulled that motion, adding that he may seek a reduction at a later date.

As previously reported, the Diocese of Nashville announced the investigation into allegations of “sexual misconduct” by Mendoza, who has now been charged with 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.

Few details have been released about the criminal charges, but according to court documents the alleged crimes occurred between July 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2023, involving five victims, four of whom were children between the ages of 11 and 16 years old when the alleged abuse occurred.

Garcia was ordained in 2020 and assigned to St. Philip in July 2022, having previously served at Saint Rose of Lima in Murfreesboro.

In November 2023, a complaint was made by church officials to the Diocese of Nashville Safe Environment Office after an unidentified teenager in the parish “made a report of improper touching.”

Mendoza remains jailed on a $2 million bond and does not have another court date listed at this time.