Courtesy of NBC6 South Florida
Undated photo of Father Roland Garcia
New allegations of sexual abuse have prompted the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami to again place Father Rolando Garcia on administrative leave.
The archdiocese said in a statement it had only learned of the most recent allegations against Garcia on Tuesday, when Tony Simmons made them public in a news conference.
Simmons said he was a 16-year-old runaway when he met Garcia at Church of the Little Flower in Hollywood in 1994. A lawsuit filed Tuesday says that Garcia initially gave him assistance and counseling, but began sexually abusing Simmons after they went to a movie one night.
The Archdiocese put Garcia, who is the pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church, on administrative leave on Wednesday. The Archdiocese also said it will offer counseling to Simmons and investigate the matter following procedures in its "Protecting God’s Children" policy.
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Two lawsuits have previously been filed against Garcia by men claiming he sexually abused them, most recently in September. An earlier lawsuit was resolved in 2009.
Garcia has adamantly denied the abuse charges.
The Archdiocese said Wednesday that it previously placed Garcia on administrative leave in August after one alleged victim made allegations against the priest. After investigating the claim, church officials said they found it was "not credible."