Former priest to be sentenced for sexual abuse of a minor charges in Columbia

WACH [Columbia SC]

February 8, 2024

By Dejon Johnson

A former Catholic priest in Laurens and Newberry counties who pleaded guilty to criminal sexual activity charges will be sentenced on Thursday afternoon.

Jamie Gonzales-Farias pleaded guilty to transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Sentencing will take place in Columbia at 2 pm.

During his first court appearance, a US. Judge ordered that 67-year-old Catholic priest remain behind bars until his trial date.

Gonzalez-Farias, known as “Father Gonzalez”, was accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old while serving as a priest at a Columbia church back in November 2020, according to the Associated Press.

The incident was reported to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston after Gonzalez-Farias left the country in December 2020, and parishioners were made aware of the situation in January 2021, according to The State Newspaper and AP.

Gonzalez-Farias was arrested in Miami, Florida back on November 28, 2022.

He was ordained in 1990 and started serving in Columbia back in 2015.