A Filipino American Catholic priest has been charged with raping a teenage girl in Philadelphia. Armand Garcia, 49, is accused of raping a 16-year-old altar girl and filming the encounter in 2014, according to the Philly Inquirer. He has been set free on $250,000 bail and is expected to show up to court on March 14.
People familiar with the case told the Philly Inquirer that the charges arose from Garcia’s relationship with the teenager at Immaculate Heart Parish in Roxborough. He is alleged to have given her alcohol or marijuana over a period of years. The charge of rape stems from an encounter between the two in August of 2014. The victim came forward with the allegations after Garcia was transferred to St. Martin of Tours in Summerdale in 2017.
In March of 2018, Philadelphia police raided Garcia’s rectory which caused him to be suspended by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of St. Martin of Tours. The investigation led to Garcia’s arrest on Monday.
Since his suspension, he has been living in a private residence in Aston, Delaware County. The archdiocese said that they would not be paying for Garcia’s legal fees. Furthermore, the “Association of Filipino Priests” have scrubbed him from their websites.
William J. Brennan, Garcia’s lawyer, said that his client has an “unblemished record” and has been serving his community for more than a decade.
Armand Garcia has been a priest since 2005. He passed all background checks and child protection training programs as required by all priests under the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.