Philadelphia Priest Charged with Raping Girl, Recording Their Sex Acts
By Jeremy Roebuck
March 5, 2019
A suspended Catholic priest has been charged with raping a teenage girl at his former Roxborough parish and recording their sexual encounter five years ago.
According to court records, the Rev. Armand Garcia, most recently of St. Martin of Tours Parish in the city’s Summerdale section, surrendered to Philadelphia police Monday — a year after the investigation of his conduct emerged into public view with a police search of his rectory.
Yet a day after his arrest, details of his alleged crimes remained hazy.
A spokesperson for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case, and court records detailing the basis for the charges were not available Tuesday afternoon.
Sources familiar with the investigation said the charges stemmed from Garcia’s relationship with an altar girl at Immaculate Heart Parish in Roxborough, with whom investigators believe he had sexual contact starting when she was about 16.
Garcia, now 49, allegedly offered her alcohol or marijuana during encounters over a period of years in the parish rectory, his living quarters, and other locations, said those sources, who were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
The specific count of rape with which Garcia was charged Monday stems from an alleged incident in August 2014, according to court filings. His accuser came forward after he had been transferred to St. Martin of Tours in Summerdale in 2017.