Arlington Heights Pastor Removed from Misión San Diego Following Arrest in South Beach, Florida

Diego Berrio

An Arlington Heights pastor has been removed from a church in Arlington Heights by the Archdiocese of Chicago after his arrest over the Labor Day weekend when he was observed engaging in sexual behavior in public with another male priest on a public street in South Beach. Both men occupied a rental black Volkswagen Beetle without tinted windows, according to a police report. They were parked on Ocean Drive in front of Lummus Park and the Art Deco hotels at 13th Street.

Both priests were arrested.

According to the Miami Beach Police Department arrest report, the police department received a report about 3:20 p.m. Monday September 3, 2018 of two men performing a sex act inside a car parked in the block of 1300 Ocean Drive.

IN FULL VIEW OF PUBLIC

“I parked my vehicle and approached the passenger side of the vehicle on foot. I observed defendant Berrio in the passenger seat …” [READ DETAILS … As a courtesy to a wide range of readers, content that might be disturbing to some readers is published on a separate dedicated Public Safety website — PublicSafetyReporter.com …]

— Miami Beach Police Officer’s Report

The police officer wrote that he needed to knock on the window to get the attention of the two men.

Each man gave his occupation as “priest” and an address that’s the location for the Mision San Juan Diego in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The men were identified as Diego Berrio, age 39, who was pastor at Mision San Diego in Arlington Heights; and Edwin Giraldo Cortez, age 30, who served as a priest at St. Alysius Parish in Chicago.

Prosecutors charged Diego Berrio with lewd and lascivious behavior. Prosecutors charged Edwin Giraldo Cortez with lewd and lascivious behavior and indecent exposure.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Diego Berrio was released on a $250 bond, and Giraldo-Cortez remained in jail on a $1,500 bond.

Cardinal Blaise J. Cupich said in a statement Tuesday that the archdiocese will await the results of the police investigation before taking further action.

“It is our responsibility to ensure those who serve our people are fit for ministry,” Cupich said. “We take this matter very seriously and will appoint an administrator for the parish as soon as possible.”

A former associate pastor at the Arlington Heights church Misión San Juan Diego pleaded guilty to child pornography charges Thursday, April 27, 2017. He had been arrested in February 2015. Clovis Vilchez-Parra, formerly Associate Pastor of Misión San Juan Diego, was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday April 27, 2017 in exchange for pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

Diego BerrioDiego Berrio (police photo).

Edwin Giraldo CortezEdwin Giraldo Cortez (police photo).

 RELATED NEWS … 

Pastor of Arlington Heights Church Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

Arlington Heights Catholic Priest at Misión San Juan Diego Catholic Church on Wilke Rd Faces Child Porn Charges

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