March 2, 2019

A Costa Rican priest was arrested Thursday a day after the Catholic Church had removed him from his parochial office for a complaint of “improper behavior toward a minor,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Priest Manuel Guevara Fonseca was arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning in front of a house in the city of Heredia, 8 km north of San José, the prosecution stated in a statement.

“He is being investigated as a suspect in the alleged crime of sexual abuse against a minor,” the prosecution’s statement read.

The prosecution authorities will take a statement from Guevara and will consider the possibility of requesting precautionary measures against him.

The Archdiocese of San José announced Wednesday night that Guevara had been removed from his position as priest in the district of Santo Domingo, north of the capital, while the church resolves a canonical complaint “for improper behavior against a minor.”

The case of Guevara occurred after the Vatican expelled Costa Rican priest Mauricio Víquez from the clergy last Monday. He faces nine complaints of sexual abuse of minors when he served as parish priest in different districts near the capital.

Víquez left Costa Rica last January and his whereabouts are currently unknown. The Prosecutor’s Office has issued an international arrest warrant as a result.