Davis Priest Pleads Guilty to Sex with Minor
June 27, 2014
A Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl he met while working at a Davis church.
Rev. Hector Coria Gonzales, 45, entered his plea at a conditional hearing Friday morning, where he admitted to one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
The girl made her first appearance in the courtroom on Friday, stating that "all of the conduct between the two was consensual and there was no abuse or manipulation," according to the Davis Enterprise.
The girl, identified as "M.L." in court documents, expressed that she did not want to see the matter prosecuted, and added that she would record her comments in a letter to be read at Gonzales' sentencing, the Enterprise reported.
The remaining charges — two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, and a single misdemeanor count of oral copulation with a minor — were dismissed.
According to the complaint, these charges stem from encounters between Gonzales and M.L., 17, that took place at a home, in a vehicle and at the church rectory over eight months.
Under the new plea, Gonzales will be sentenced to 90 days in county jail with three years formal probation. He will also be required to attend sexual offender counseling, and have no contact with the victim until she turns 18 this November.
Gonzales is due to be sentenced at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, in Department 1.
Gonzales had been a staff pastor at St. James Parish in Davis for almost two years. After his arrest in May, Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento put him on leave. According to a Facebook page of St. Thomas Catholic Church in Paradise, he was ordained in January 2011.
In August 2013, the former priest at Woodland's Holy Rosary Catholic Church Uriel Ojeda was sentenced to at least seven years in state prison for the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl while serving as a priest in Redding.