DAVIS, Yolo County (CBS/AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in Northern California has been arrested for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with a teenage girl he befriended while working at a Davis church.
Davis police officers arrested the Rev. Hector Coria on Friday on suspicion of statutory rape and oral copulation with a minor. The 45-year-old priest was booked into the Yolo County jail but bonded out on Saturday.
Police say Coria had been involved with the girl since last year. Telephone and email messages left for him at St. James Parish in Davis, where the church bulletin lists him as one of two staff pastors, were not immediately returned on Sunday.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento spokesman Kevin Eckery told CBS Sacramento it had received no complaints about Coria before police informed them of his arrest.
“We found out basically a few hours later and took the steps to remove him from ministry and he’s no longer living at the parish,” spokesman Kevin Eckery told CBS Sacramento.
Eckery said Coria has been removed from the parish ministry and was no longer living at the parish.
Coria was the number two priest at St. James, in charge of giving mass in Spanish.
Although pleased with the diocese’s quick response, parishioners at St. James were still reeling.
“We’ve been in this parish for 40 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened. It’s shocking and sad,” another parishioner said.
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