Priest Accused of Sexually Molesting Teen Released

January 10, 2012

[with video]

The priest accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl over two years was released from Sacramento County Jail just before 10 p.m. Monday on $700,000 bond.

Dozens of supporters of Father Uriel Ojeda waited for his release for about eight hours, rallying outside the jail.

Ojeda's bail bondsman, Paul Sherbenske, said some helped make posting his bond possible by listing their homes as collateral.

Sherbenske said Ojeda will have to give up his passport and wear a GPS tracking device while he is out.

Many of Ojeda's supporters attend the parishes Ojeda served in Redding and Woodland, and say he is innocent.

"I don't think its fair for anyone to judge him -- we will let the courts do that," said Christie Loftin, who came to the jail in support of Ojeda.

"He is our friend. He is our brother. He is our priest and we love him," said another supporter who would not give KCRA 3 her name.

Ojeda has not entered a plea in Sacramento County Superior Court for the seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts against him.

A spokesman for the diocese said, regardless of the outcome of the trial, Ojeda likely will not be allowed to remain a priest because he confessed to molesting the teen during an investigation into the accusations by the diocese.








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