Former Woodland Priest Has Preliminary Hearing in Abuse Case Continued

By Katherine Jarvis
Daily Democrat
June 11, 2012

A former Woodland priest has had his preliminary hearing continued until July, according to Sacramento Superior Court records.

The Rev. Uriel Ojeda, 32, served as a priest at Woodland's Holy Rosary Catholic Church from 2007 until 2009. His hearing Friday was continued until 8:30 a.m. Friday, July 20, at the Sacramento Downtown Courthouse, 720 Ninth St.

He pleaded not guilty in April to seven counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a girl under the age of 14 between 2007 and 2009.

The criminal complaint states the crimes occurred in Sacramento and Shasta counties, where Ojeda was a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mercy parish in Redding.

Ojeda was arrested Nov. 30 and released on bail in January when a judge lowered it to $700,000 from $5 million.

Ojeda has had dozens of supporters, many from Yolo County, attend his hearings since December. They held pictures and rosaries in support as they filled the courtroom.

However, on Thursday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests delivered a letter to Sacramento Catholic Bishop Jaime Soto urging him to attend hearings, make public Ojeda's alleged admission to the child molestation and insist parishioners quietly support accused clerics.

"These parishioners are unintentionally scaring and silencing victims and witnesses," said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director, in a news release. "Soto should insist that these confused Catholics back accused predators quietly so no

other victims, witnesses or whistleblowers are hurt more or scared into staying silent. By his inaction, Soto is hurting law enforcement officials in this case and others."

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