MIAMI – Two Catholic priests were arrested Monday after police said they were caught performing sex acts on each other in a parked car near a Miami Beach playground, reports said.
Diego Berrio, 39, and Edwin Giraldo Cortez, 30, face charges of lewd and lascivious behavior after a passerby spotted the romping rendezvous in a rented Volkswagen Beetle in broad daylight, reported CBS 4 Miami.
Moreover, Giraldo Cortes also faces an indecent exposure charge.
The car did not have tinted windows, so officers said they were able to witness the sexual acts upon arrival, the news agency reported. The two Chicago-area priests apparently didn’t notice the police until officers knocked on the window to get their attention, the report said.
“I parked my vehicle and approached the passenger side of the vehicle on foot,” an officer wrote on the arrest report, according to The Miami Herald. “I observed defendant Berrio in the passenger seat, performing oral sex on defendant Giraldo who was seated in the driver’s seat. Giraldo’s pants were unzipped and his genitals exposed.
Candice Parker was with her son at the playground.
“The fact that they are priests is above and beyond shocking,” she said. “I don’t understand this kind of behavior. They’re supposed to be leading good example and they’re doing exactly the opposite.”
Berrio and Cortez are from Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago.
Berrio served as a priest at the Mission of San Juan Diego and Cortez at the St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago.
“Their profession is irrelevant, in fact our trouble with this is that this is broad daylight, for anyone to see including children,” said Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez. “There’s a time and a place for everything and this certainly was not the time and place.”
Late Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement regarding the two priests:
“We were informed this morning that Rev. Diego Berrio, pastor of Misión San Juan Diego in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Rev. Edwin Giraldo Cortes, an extern priest from Soacha, Colombia who served at St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago for one month, August 1 to August 31, 2018, were arrested in Miami on September 3, 2018.
“Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, has removed Fr. Berrio from ministry and withdrawn his faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago, effective immediately. The archdiocese will appoint an administrator for the Misión San Juan Diego as soon as possible.
“Archdiocese representatives have been in contact with Fr. Cortes’ home diocese of Soacha, Colombia and informed them that Fr. Cortes will not be granted additional faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“It is our responsibility to ensure those who serve our people are fit for ministry. We take this matter very seriously and will provide updates as they become available.”
The two men have since bonded out of jail but had nothing to say as they left.