Catholic Priest Pleads No Contest to Molesting Teenage Parishioner
July 5, 2013
Uriel Ojeda, a Roman Catholic priest accused of repeatedly molesting a 13-year-old parishioner, as part of a plea deal pleaded no contest to molesting the girl. In return, the district attorney dropped the remaining 6 molestation charges.
Ojeda will be sentenced to eight years in prison.
“This is a fair resolution of the case based upon the facts and circumstances. The victim and her family can move forward with their lives and be proud that they had the courage to report the abuse to the Sacramento Diocese and law enforcement,” said Deputy District Attorney Allison Dunham.
Ojeda was arrested on November 30, 2011 on charges of lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14 and lewd acts on a child under 14 in which the victim was at least 10 years younger than the perpetrator. He was later arraigned on seven criminal counts stemming from four separate incidents involving the girl between 2007 and 2009.
A spokeswoman with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office said Ojeda he had admitted to an investigator for the Sacramento Catholic Diocese that he repeatedly molested a parishioner.
Ojeda was assigned to Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Redding and prior to that was a priest at Holy Rosary Parish in Woodland until being transferred in the summer of 2009. That’s where he got to know the victim, who came forward with the allegations.
He was one of the “magnificent seven”, the largest number of priests in decades to be ordained at once. The group was credited for rising above the sex scandals that rocked the Catholic church years ago.
The sentencing hearing will happen on August 2 at 9 a.m.