Arrest Warrant Issued for Priest

By Guy Kovner
Press Democrat
June 23, 2006

An arrest warrant was issued Friday for the Rev. Xavier Ochoa, the Sonoma Catholic priest charged with 10 counts of felony child sex abuse.

The warrant specifies that Ochoa, 69, should be held without bail if he is apprehended in California or any other state, Assistant District Attorney Larry Scoufos said.

If Ochoa is in Mexico, as authorities believe, prosecutors would have to seek extradition through the U.S. Department of Justice, District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua said.

But authorities would need “verification that he has fled and is presently in Mexico” before pursuing extradition, Passalacqua said.

Ten felonies and a single misdemeanor charge were filed Thursday against Ochoa, who most recently served as assistant pastor at St. Francis Solano Parish in Sonoma.

The charges allege lewd conduct with three minors, including forcible sodomy and forcible oral copulation. One victim, a 12-year-old boy, allegedly stripped naked before Ochoa at his Sonoma apartment in April.

The other two alleged victims are adult males who were molested years ago.

Ochoa, who had served in the Santa Rosa diocese since 1988, left the area in early May, a day or two before detectives began looking for him.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or


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