Group alleges church knew accused priest was in DC area

August 24, 2015

The SNAP group that protested outside the Arlington Diocese

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- A group of protestors stood outside the Arlington Diocese Monday to bring attention to sexual abuse allegations against a priest who taught in Maryland and Virginia.

According to a church memo obtained SNAP chapter of Washington D.C. and Virginia, Catholic Church officials knew that Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza was in Maryland years after he fled the country in the wake of sexual abuse allegations.

In 2003, Rev. Espinoza allegedly had sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy at a New Jersey church. According to SNAP, two church officials urged Rev. Espinoza to go back to his native Ecuador before he got in trouble.

In 2005, SNAP says Rev. Espinoza returned to the United States and taught for three years at Beville Middle School in Woodbridge, Va. Then, from 2008 to February 2014, he taught Spanish at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Md.

According to SNAP, church officials did nothing about Rev. Espinoza's presence in Maryland.

In a statement, the Diocese of Arlington said they had no knowledge about Rev. Espinoza's presence in their diocese and were trouble to learn about the sexual abuse allegations.

SNAP, which stands for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is a support group dedicated to people sexually abused by priests.


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