Fr. Fernando Cristancho

Father Fernando Cristancho

Ordained: 1985
Status: Convicted
Diocese: Archdiocese of Baltimore MD

Father Fernando Cristancho, who originally worked in the Diocese of Istmina-Tado in Colombia, was assigned to the Diocese of Arlington, VA, from 1994 to 1997. However, he was removed from his position due to sexual misconduct with a young woman. Later, it was discovered that he arranged for in vitro fertilization of a woman in Colombia using his sperm, which resulted in the birth of triplets in November 2001 (two boys and one girl).

Father Fernando Cristancho was then assigned to St. Ignatius in Forest Hill in the Archdiocese of Baltimore from 1999 to 2002. However, the archdiocese revoked his faculties in July 2002 when they learned that he had fathered triplets and reportedly refused a new assignment. In 2006, the Department of Social Services (DSS) found that Father Fernando Cristancho had sexually abused both of the boys, including performing oral sex on them, and a possible third victim was reported by their mother.

In October 2008, a Maryland appeals court gave custody of the triplets to their mother, and Father Fernando Cristancho denied the abuse allegations. He was included on the archdiocese’s list of accused in April 2016.

In September 2017, Cristancho was arrested and charged with making and possessing child pornography. Detectives found photos of young boys on his electronic devices at his home and on a memory card in a safe. In October 2021, he pleaded guilty to “coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity” and admitted to creating nude images of four other children. His victim was between the ages of 11 and 13 and was abused from 2002 through at least the fall of 2003, after meeting Cristancho at St. Ignatius parish. He was sentenced in May 2021 to 22 years in federal prison and laicized in 2022. Cristancho was included in the Maryland Attorney General’s Report released on April 5, 2023.