Chicago Priest Charged With Groping 2 Women, Grabbing Teen - NBC Chicago

Chicago Priest Charged With Groping 2 Women, Grabbing Teen

The pastor was accused of groping one woman in 2016 and the other in 2017 while they each worked at the parish office

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    Chicago Priest Charged With Groping 2 Women, Grabbing Teen

    A priest from Wicker Park has been accused of touching two women inappropriately. NBC 5's Lisa Chavarria has more on the allegations. (Published Friday, Oct. 12, 2018)

    A Chicago priest has been charged with groping two women and pulling a teen girl to his face, police said.

    Fr. Rigoberto Gamez, 52, was charged with two felony counts of criminal sexual abuse and a misdemeanor count of battery, according to Chicago Police.

    Gamez was accused of groping one woman in 2016 and the other in 2017 while they each worked at the parish office, where Gamez worked as the pastor at Our Lady of Tepeyac Church, according to the charges.

    He also was accused of grabbing a 17-year-old’s hand and pulling her to his face while she walked to school at Our Lady of Tepeyac.

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    The Chicago Archdiocese said Gamez's faculties to minister have been "withdrawn effective immediately." Gamez most recently was a resident priest at St. Aloysius Parish, the Archdiocese said in a statement, and associate vicar for Canonical Services for the Archdiocese. He previously was pastor of Our Lady of Tepeyac.

    During a bond hearing on Friday, Gamez received a $10,000 ibond and was ordered to wear electronic monitoring. He cannot have any contact with the victims or their families and cannot have contact with anyone under 18.

    The Archdiocese of Chicago said it will "fully cooperate with the authorities in this matter" and said it is "committed to ensuring that parishioners are served by priests who are fit for ministry."

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    "Moreover, it is critically important that all who work in our parishes and ministries understand behavioral expectations of them," the Archdiocese said. "Additional measures will be introduced to train all priests and parish personnel on sexual harassment and boundary violation prevention. Only by adhering to proper behavioral standards and a continued enforcement of our code of conduct will people feel respected and safe in workplaces and worship and service sites throughout the Archdiocese."

    Gamez’s attorney, who did not shared her name with the media, said he would be placed in a home with other priests and would not be working in a parish.

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