Judge Won't Exclude Former Woodland Priest's Admissions of Child Molestation
July 4, 2013
A judge refused Wednesday to exclude a former Woodland priest's admissions of child molestation to church officials, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The Rev. Uriel Ojeda -- former parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mercy parish in Redding -- is facing seven counts of molesting a girl under the age of 14 in Sacramento and Shasta counties. Ojeda also served as a priest at Woodland's Holy Rosary Catholic Church from 2007 to 2009, when the counts allegedly took place.
Ojeda had tried to have the statements ruled inadmissable on grounds he made them under the protection of a clergy-penitent privilege, according to the Bee. Ojeda said it never crossed his mind that his discussions about his alleged misconduct might be turned over to police.
Also Wednesday, prosecutors said a plea deal could be taken off the table by Friday if not accepted, according to the Bee. The plea deal is an eight-year prison term.
If Ojeda doesn't take the deal and is convicted at trial, he faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.