Santa Monica Priest Charged with Sexual Battery


July 31, 2012

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KTLA) — Police arrested a Santa Monica priest Monday when he turned turned himself in after learning that he was charged with sexual battery.

Police began investigating Rafael Venegas — a priest at St. Anne’s church in Santa Ana — on July 1, according to a news release issued by the Santa Monica Police Department. The victim — a 20-year-old woman who does not attend the church — reported that Venegas sexually assaulted her on the church grounds in September 2011.

Santa Monica’s city attorney received the investigators’ case last week and charged Venegas with one count of sexual battery and one count of providing alcohol to a minor.

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