Carlsbad Priest Found Guilty of Misdemeanor Sexual Battery


A former associate pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Carlsbad is in trouble with the law after allegedly groping a seminary student in a bar bathroom.  

Rev. Juan Garcia Castillo was convicted Monday of misdemeanor sexual battery and faces six months behind bars and a $2,000 fine.

An attorney and former U.S. Naval officer who was studying to become a priest accused Castillo of grabbing his genitals after a night of drinking in a Carlsbad restaurant and bar on Feb. 4.

Surveillance video showing the two and another man drinking in the restaurant was submitted as evidence, prosecutors said.

The victim said he went to the bathroom to vomit after all the drinking made him sick and Castillo followed. 

"All of the sudden I feel him behind me," the man said. He testified that Castillo began touching him around his thighs and waist as he stood over a toilet, according to NBC7 San Diego.

"All of the sudden the hand very quickly goes directly to my crotch and grabs my [genitals]," he said.

Castillo was removed from the parish in March and criminally charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery in May. 

Photo: Getty Images


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