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Purcellville priest on leave after accusations of inappropriate contact with minor, adults

Father Ronald S. Escalante (Catholic Diocese of Arlington)

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office says a Catholic priest in Purcellville is accused of inappropriate contact with a minor and adults.

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington has placed Father Ronald S. Escalante on leave pending an investigation by the sheriff's office. On Friday, the diocese release said the Saint Francis de Sales Church pastor is accused of "boundary violations involving a minor and adults" that go against its clergy code of conduct.

The sheriff's office the diocese reported the possible "inappropriate contact" to authorities on Nov. 21 and began its own investigation at the same time. The diocese says it ensured Escalante was not at the parish once the investigation began.

It's unclear why Escalante was suspended nearly three weeks later.

Escalante denies the allegations, which are being considered by the Diocesan Review Board, and has stated that he is cooperating fully with the investigation, according to the diocese.

The diocese said that during Mass on Sunday, Escalante's leave was announced at every parish where he has served. The following is a list of all of the parishes Escalante has served in the Diocese of Arlington:

2012 - Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Purcellville

2009 - Parochial Administrator of St. Francis de Sales

2007 -Parochial Vicar of St. Luke Parish in McLean

2004 - Part-time parochial vicar of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Fredericksburg, while continuing as chaplain of Mary Washington College

2002 - Chaplain of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg and part-time parochial vicar of St. Matthew Parish in Spotsylvania

1998 - Parochial vicar of Good Shepherd Parish in Alexandria

1995 - Parochial vicar of St. Lawrence Parish in Alexandria

1994 - Deacon at St. Leo the Great in Fairfax

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