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NJ priest rapes teen, flees country, says victim “wanted” it

NJ priest rapes teen, flees country, says victim “wanted” it
"Don't worry, this is what God wants," Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza allegedly told a 15-year-old boy before raping him.
“Don’t worry, this is what God wants,” Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza allegedly told a 15-year-old boy before raping him.
The New Civil Rights Movement reports that a Catholic priest has admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old boy before fleeing the country. Now, his victim is suing the church. According to Raw Story, the 15-year-old boy visited a confession booth at his Catholic church and told the priest that he was confused about his sexuality. Weeks later, the victim claims Rev. Manuel Gallo Espnoza raped him in a rectory bedroom at St. Mary’s Church in Plainfield, New Jersey, as detailed in their exclusive report. The victim told, “I saw him as a priest, and that’s it. I didn’t even know who was in the confessional when I went in there.” He claims the priest told him, “Don’t worry. This is what God wants.” The victim says that he asked Espinoza to drive him home, but the priest insisted he stay in one of the church’s bedrooms. “I just felt something very heavy on top of me,” he said. “It hurt. I was in pain. My eyes popped open, and he had his whole body on top of me. He started touching me and kissing me. I was shaking. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t talk.” Rev. Espinoza says he quit the priesthood — but he was in fact suspended. He also “deflected blame for the incident by saying the teen ‘wanted’ it and had ‘evil in his mind,'” according to Espinoza admits his actions were a “mistake,” and said he fled to Ecuador shortly after the rape was reported to a nun:

“One thing that I am conscious (of) is he was at that time a teenager, and it is a big mistake for me. But I didn’t force him to do anything he didn’t want. He was older (sic) enough to walk away, but I think that I was attracted to him, that is the only explanation that I can think right now. He had something evil in his mind. He approached me many times.” asked Espinoza if he knew having sex with a minor was a serious offense. He wrote back via email: “I just came fr (sic) my country and really in Ecuador a person at 15 years old is not consider (sic) so innocent.”

The New Civil Rights Movement reports that authorities might attempt to extradite Espinoza back to the U.S., as he’s currently the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Union County’s Prosecutor’s Office.

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