Ecuadoran Cleric Admits Abuse Here

By Barbara Ross
Daily News (New York)
June 19, 2003

A Catholic priest from Ecuador admitted in court yesterday that he molested a 16-year-old altar boy in September in an Inwood rectory.

Wearing black clerical garb, Jorge Pintado, 39, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and got five days of community service as punishment.

The Archdiocese of New York brought Pintado to New York in January 2000, assigning him as an assistant pastor in St. Joan of Arc Church in the Bronx.

He worked 10 months and then left, notifying the archdiocese in January 2001 that he was resigning because of poor health.

At that point, Pintado - who was no longer supposed to function as a priest - somehow wound up at Good Shepherd Church in Inwood.

The victim, who sang in the church choir, told cops that Pintado molested him one night after having hugged him for months in a way that made the boy uncomfortable.

Over the objections of Pintado's lawyer, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Richard Weinberg allowed prosecutor Karen Friedman-Agnifilo to question the priest yesterday about the details of his actions.

However, as a concession to the defense lawyer, he let the questioning take place at the bench, out of earshot of five reporters in the audience.

Officials said Pintado might be deported for the misdemeanor conviction but he won't be put on the state's sex-offender registry.


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