Sacto 9-1-1
January 5, 2012
DA: Sacramento priest admitted molesting girl

By Cynthia Hubert

A deputy district attorney told a Sacramento Superior Court judge Thursday that the Rev. Uriel Ojeda, a Catholic priest jailed on sex abuse charges, has admitted to repeatedly molesting a teenaged parishioner.

Arguing that Ojeda's bail should remain high, Deputy DA Allison Dunham said that, based on the charges, the priest is a threat to the community and a flight risk. She said Ojeda, 32, who served at parishes in Woodland and Redding before his arrest last month, admitted to an investigator for the Sacramento Catholic Diocese that he repeatedly abused a teenaged girl, kissing her on the lips, rubbing her breasts and other inappropriate touching.

Ojeda's lawyer, Jesse Ortiz, disputed the prosecutor's account, and told Judge Marjorie Koller that the diocese is punishing Ojeda because they dislike him.

Hundreds of Ojeda supporters gathered inside and outside the jailhouse courtroom during the contentious hearing. In the end, Koller lowered Ojeda's $5 million bail to $700,000.

Ortiz said his client will post bail later today and be released.

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