East Texas Priest Arrested - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/18/07-Upshur County

East Texas Priest Arrested

Father Denzil Vithanage, known to his parishioners as Father Denzil, was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing, last Saturday.

Officials said Rachell Gatons, an Upshur County woman, asked Father Vithanage not to come to her home.

Father Vithanage went anyway, and that's when Gatons called the sheriff's department.

When the deputy arrived, he told the priest that Ms. Gatons had asked that he leave.

Father Vithanage responded by saying that he was a priest and would return "when he was ready."

That's when he was taken into custody.

Anther administrator has been brought in to lead St. Joseph's Parish, the church Vithanage pastored in Marshall, and the Tyler Diocese said it is fully cooperating with authorities until the investigation is complete.   

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