Former Priest Paroled Back to Stockton after Serving Molestation Sentence

KXTV [Stockton CA]
May 15, 2005

A former Stockton Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting a 14-year-old Turlock boy has been paroled to Stockton after serving half of a six-year sentence.

Oskar Peleaz, 38, pleaded guilty in 2002 to molesting the teen over a two year period while serving as a pastor at Turlock's Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Peleaz was granted parole Tuesday after serving three years in prison. His term was divided between the Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy and Mule Creek State Prison near Ione.

San Joaquin County Sheriff's spokesman Les Garcia said Peleaz has registered as a sex offenderwith the sheriff's office in compliance with state law. Peleaz lists an address on East Waterloo Road as his current residence.

Peleaz will be under the supervision of a parole officer for the next three years. Diocese of Stockton spokeswoman Terry Davis said the diocese will work with Peleaz's parole officer to aid in the former priest's rehabilitation.

Pelaez was accused of molesting the boy between 1998 and 2000 on church property, on camping trips, and in San Francisco. The victim said as many as 150 incidents of molestation occurred, but during trial said he could recall details of 13 encounters.

Prosecutors described Pelaez as a dangerous person and asked that he be given the maximum sentence of 11 years in prison. Because Pelaez agreed to plead guilty, the judge handed down a sentence of six years instead.

The church paid out a $1 million settlement to the victim following Peleaz's conviction on 13 counts of lewd acts with a child.