Catholic Priest Held in Killing of His Former Altar Boy

A Catholic priest in the Dominican Republic has been detained as a suspect in the murder of his former altar boy.

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We hear stories about sexual assaults and cover-ups within the Catholic Church practically every day, but this is something different. This is a priest who is actually suspected, and formally accused, of killing a young boy. Although the authorities haven’t disclosed a motive or cause of death, the victim’s family says the boy was threatening to reveal videos featuring the clergyman having sex, and the evidence seems to be piling up.

Father Elvis Taveras was taken into custody after the body of 16-year-old Fernelis Carrion was found alongside the road. Before his death, reports say the boy was taken to meet the priest, who paid his cab fare.

According to the Associated Press:

The Rev. Elvis Taveras was taken into custody after questioning by police and prosecutors who searched his residence in eastern Santo Domingo… Prosecutor Gilberto Castillo said he would seek to have the priest held while authorities continue the investigation.

The fact that the prosecutors want to hold him while they investigate is a good sign. They don’t seem to be giving him any unearned breaks there.

The Archdiocese of Santo Domingo said it has suspended Taveras from his duties “as a precaution.” The Church also released a statement saying it “deplores with profound sadness” the murder of Carrion, so that’s… something. It beats transferring him to another parish, at least.

The young boy’s family has thanked the Catholic Church for being supportive while discouraging the public from judging all priests based on the actions of this one, but they also want Carrion’s killer prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

These are only allegations at this point, but the priest would have to explain the taxi driver linking them together and a family accusing him of bribery. Meanwhile, the Church itself is keeping its distance from him. You just can’t write this stuff.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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