Fremont priest arrested, accused of 30 counts of felony child abuse

San Francisco Chronicle

March 31, 2019

By Kimberly Veklerov

The head priest of the Corpus Christi Parish in Fremont has been arrested on suspicion of 30 counts of child sex abuse, officials said Sunday.

Father Hector David Mendoza-Vela, 42, was arrested Thursday and booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he is awaiting an arraignment in Alameda County Superior Court. His bail was set at $900,000.

The abuse happened over an 18-month period in 2016 and 2017 and involved a child who was 14 and 15 at the time, according to Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case.

The victim’s family “met Father Vela through his work as their Catholic priest and became friends of his like a lot of people do with leaders in the community,” Kelly said.

The abuse, described only as “lewd and lascivious acts,” happened at the victim’s Hayward home and in other locations, Kelly said. He did not provide further details on the victim or the acts.

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