Former Woodland Priest Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for Molesting Girl

Record Searchlight
August 2, 2013

Uriel.png Father Uriel Ojeda meets with several concerned members of the community at his Woodland parish in May 2009. Father Ojeda pleaded no contest to molesting a child on Friday.

Former Woodland priest Uriel Ojeda has been sentenced to eight years in state prison for molesting a teenaged girl, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Father Ojeda was sentenced in a Sacramento County Superior Court. Ojeda had previously pleaded no contest to the crime.

According to the Bee, Ojeda said at his sentencing, "My actions were those of a weak and sinful man."

The victim and her family submitted written statements, calling Ojeda a coward who betrayed their trust, the Bee reported.

"I know I did the right thing," the victim wrote. "I told."

Prosecutors said the 33-year-old Catholic priest "entered the victim's bedroom at night" at her home in Sacramento and touched her in a lewd and lascivious manner.

In her letter, the girl said it was her dream to be woken up sometime by a "Prince Charming" who would deliver her first kiss but added that Ojeda destroyed that dream, according to the Bee.

At the time of the offense, between 2007 and 2009, Ojeda was a priest at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Woodland.

By the time of his arrest in late 2011, Ojeda had moved on to become a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Redding.

Two weeks ago, a judge refused to exclude admissions once made by Ojeda to church officials. Ojeda had hoped that those statements would not be admissible in court due to clergy-penitent privilege.

The plea deal for an eight-year prison term was offered following that ruling.

Ojeda faced 20 years in prison if found guilty of all charges against him, had he not accepted the plea agreement.

Ojeda.png The Rev. Uriel Ojeda, a priest in the Sacramento Roman Catholic diocese, is seen during his arraignment on child molestation charges in Sacramento Superior Court in Sacramento on Dec. 2, 2011. Ojeda has pleaded no contest for molesting a child. (Rich Pedronceilli/Associated Press file photograph)








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