Lake Arrowhead priest ordered to register as sex offender

Contra Costa Times
August 24, 2015

A Lake Arrowhead priest will register as a sex offender and spend a year in custody after a federal jury sentenced him Monday for touching a woman’s breast and inner thigh on a cross-country airplane trip.

Marcelo De Jesumaria, 46, a Catholic priest formerly of Lake Arrowhead and who now lives in the High Desert community of Valyermo, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

De Jesumaria was on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles on Aug. 17, 2014, when he was able to move to the last row of the plane after asking a flight attendant if he could “sit next to his wife,” according to a news release. After moving to a seat between a man and the woman, she awoke sleeping much of the flight to feel De Jesumaria’s hand on top her left leg, near her groin. She then felt him wrap his arm around her body and grab her breast, DOJ officials said in a news release Monday.

When he relaxed his tight grip on the woman, she got up and went to the plane’s bathroom, official said. She used a call button to summon a flight attendant and reported that De Jesumaria had been touching her inappropriately, according to the DOJ.

In May, a federal jury found De Jesumaria guilty of abusive sexual contact, a felony that carries a statutory maximum sentence of two years in prison.


His term in custody will include six months in federal prison and six months of home confinement.



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