NJ--Priest abused in NJ, then taught in MD
For immediate release: Thursday, July 30
A priest who fled the US after raping a teenager in New Jersey later quietly taught at a Maryland school. Catholic bishops in both states should aggressively seek out his victims and warn the public about him.
Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza fled back to South America from the Newark archdiocese after a victim reported having been raped by the priest. (Catholic officials admit the report was “credible” and law enforcement sought to interview Fr. Espinoza.) A few years later, however, Fr. Espinoza quietly returned to the US and began teaching at a Prince George's County, Md. School. He abruptly left in February.
We call on bishops in both Maryland and New Jersey to use their vast resources – parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements – to warn police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public about Fr. Espinoza. They should turn over every shred of paperwork they have about this priest to law enforcement. Bishops should personally visit parishes in the areas Fr. Espinoza worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward.
Catholic officials recruited, educated, ordained, hired, supervised, trained and sheltered Fr. Espinoza, then tipped him off as police were about to question him. So aggressive outreach is the bare minimum they should do at this point.
We hope law enforcement will also consider criminal charges against those who ignored or concealed Fr. Espinoza’s crimes.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Where's 'Father Manuel'? Police hunting fugitive priest, teacher accused of raping N.J. teen
Print Email Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com - July 30, 2015 at 7:15 AM, updated July 30, 2015 at 7:57 AM
Twelve years ago, amid allegations he raped a 15-year-old boy in the rectory of a Plainfield church, the Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza vanished.
The Archdiocese of Newark, where Gallo Espinoza had served as a visiting priest, said he apparently fled to his native Ecuador after church officials informed him of the claim and suspended him from ministry.
Authorities never interviewed him. Within months, the investigation . . .