St. Martin of Tours Pastor Under Investigation for Sexual Abuse
A pastor at St. Martin of Tours Church in Philadelphia has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a minor. 49-year-old Armand Garcia was arrested on Monday, March 4. He has been charged with rape, sexual abuse, and corruption of minors.
Garcia was put on administrative leave in March 2018 after police began investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says that at the time of this allegation, Garcia had a clean criminal background and had passed clearances for child abuse.
The alleged abuse happened between 2014 and 2017. According to CBS Philadelphia, the Archdiocese was aware of these allegations since last year, but parents were only notified this week.
Garcia has served at several parishes, schools, and offices since being ordained in 2005:
- Saint Joseph, Downingtown (2005-2008)
- Saint Eleanor, Collegeville (2008-2009)
- Saint Katherine of Siena, Philadelphia (2009-2010)
- Our Lady of the Assumption, Strafford (2011)
- Immaculate Heart of Mary, Philadelphia (2011-2017)
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits, helping them fight for the justice and financial compensation they deserve. We’ve asked Brian to share some thoughts on how the legal system can help survivors of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church:
Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been an international crisis for decades, with tens of thousands of victims coming forward to tell their stories of abuse by priests and other church leaders since the 1960s. The church has been harshly criticized for their tendency to cover up abuse, even allowing priests to transfer to other churches where they can continue abusing innocent children. The victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church deserve justice.
While the police handle the arrest and prosecution of sexual predators, organizations like the Catholic Church can also be held liable in civil court. Victims of abuse may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the organization for the role organizational negligence played in the abuse. Examples of such negligence might include:
- Failing to contact law enforcement regarding allegations of sexual abuse
- Allowing a priest accused of abuse to transfer to a different church
- Hiring a priest or another church official with a history of sexual misconduct
If you or a loved one is a survivor of Catholic Church sexual abuse, we want to help you find justice during this painful time. You can learn more about your family’s legal options in a free consultation with one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors lawyers.
Location of St. Martin of Tours Church in Philadelphia, PA