Ex-priest Indicted on Charges He Sexually Assaulted Teen

Clay Center Dispatch
May 26, 2016

A former New Jersey priest who fled to Ecuador more than a decade ago after a teen boy accused him of sexual assault has been indicted.

Union County prosecutors say a grand jury indicted 52-year-old Manuel Espinoza on sexual assault and criminal sexual contact charges.

The boy told another priest and a nun in 2003 that Espinoza sexually assaulted him in the rectory of St. Mary's Church in Plainfield.

A church review board later deemed the allegation was credible. says Espinoza previously admitted to sexually assaulting the teen, calling it a mistake and saying the boy enticed him.

The Associated Press typically doesn't name people who say they are victims of sexual assault.

Espinoza's whereabouts are unknown.








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