Catholic priest in Va. on leave after allegations of misconduct

WASHINGTON — A Catholic priest in Purcellville, Virginia, is on administrative leave following what the Diocese of Arlington calls “alleged boundary violations involving a minor and adults.”

The Rev. Ronald S. Escalante denies the accusations that he violated the dicocese’s code of conduct for clergy and is cooperating with investigators, diocese officials said in a statement Monday.

Escalante will remain pastor of Saint Francis de Sales Church during the investigation, according to the diocese. But Bishop Michael F. Burbidge will appoint a parochial administrator to the parish in the interim.

In a related story on Monday, the case of a D.C. priest accused of inappropriately touching three teenage girls has been sent to a grand jury.

The diocese asks anyone who knows of misconduct by a cleric or other diocese employee to report it to Virginia’s attorney general online or by phone at 1-833-454-9064. They can also call the diocese’s victim assistance coordinator at 703-841-2530.

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