Echevarria was placed on the sex offender registry in July and given three years' probation, court records show. Echevarria resigned as pastor of El Calvario just before he was arrested. Keane criticized the statewide church's handling of Echevarria's situation, including a policy put in place after Echevarria's second conviction that requires state church officials to run the names of all pastors through the state's sex offender registry list at least once every two years. After Echevarria's arrest on child pornography charges in August , he pleaded guilty six months later. She did not return calls for comment.
He was replaced as pastor for the years while on probation — from to — by his wife, according to church documents. She said at that point it is the congregation's decision on what action to take. The warrant said the girl's mother would drop her off at the house and that "Eli" as she knew him would ask her if she wanted to use his computer. But the case and the way it was handled have sparked criticism of the church's governing authority. Keane criticized the statewide church's handling of Echevarria's situation, including a policy put in place after Echevarria's second conviction that requires state church officials to run the names of all pastors through the state's sex offender registry list at least once every two years. We are going to miss him. The current pastor at El Calvario is Josue Rodriguez. The arrest warrant in the first case alleges that Echevarria had illegal sexual contact with a 7-year-old girl he and his wife, Carmen, were baby-sitting. She told him her husband had been arrested on child pornography charges. Dave Altimari Contact Reporter CT Baptist Church Was Led By Sex Offender for Years A pastor at a Baptist Church in New Haven was allowed to continue leading his church for five years while on the state sex offender registry after a child-molestation conviction, letters from church officials and state court records show. The policy approved by the church's statewide governing board in late doesn't indicate that if someone is on the sex offender registry any action will be taken against that person. After Echevarria's arrest on child pornography charges in August , he pleaded guilty six months later. The warrant said everyone else in the house would be asleep and that as she was using the computer "Eli" would lift her shirt up and touch her breasts and unbutton her pants and try to put his hand inside them. The arrest warrant said that detectives found numerous files on his home computer showing men having sex with pre-pubescent girls, some as young as 2-years-old. He also was placed on the state's sex offender registry for 10 years at that time. Echevarria's name appeared as pastor in the annual church registry until , which also is when he started his three-year probation for the criminal case, according to a letter written by then-ABCConn President David P. Sonia Gonzalez wrote in the program. State church leaders concluded there was no substance to the charges, but Echevarria was later arrested and convicted of illegal sexual contact in in connection with the allegations. In fact, the program for the statewide church's April annual conference includes a tribute thanking Echevarria for his years of service. Echevarria was placed on the sex offender registry in July and given three years' probation, court records show. Echevarria became pastor in and church officials were made aware of allegations that he had assaulted a child in , according to the letter. Echevarria resigned as pastor of El Calvario just before he was arrested. When Keane went away on vacation in August he asked Echevarria if he wanted to preach, but Echevarria declined, saying his English wasn't good enough, Keane said. Keane pressed for a meeting with the board of managers of ABCConn and in November the board approved the new policy, which requires church leaders to sign a statement agreeing that they will use the information only to inform their congregation. The warrant states that the girl started coming to the Echevarrias' house every morning before attending school across from their East Pearl Street home in New Haven. The statewide group only sets overarching policy. Police started investigating Echevarria when the girl told a teacher about the incidents, which occurred between and , in and school officials alerted the state Department of Children and Families, court records indicate.
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