Q: A couple of years ago there was a young priest who was assigned to the Holy Rosary Parish in Woodland and prior to that in Redding. He was arrested for molesting an underage young lady. What happened in that case?
A: The Rev. Uriel Ojeda pleaded no contest to a single count of molesting a 13-year-old girl and admitted to engaging in “substantial sexual conduct” with her.
He was sentenced in August 2013 in Sacramento Superior Court to eight years in prison. Now 36 years old, he is at Avenal State Prison in Avenal.
Ojeda was arrested in November 2011 and initially charged with seven acts of molestation against the girl, dating from June 29, 2007 to Aug. 30, 2009, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee. The incidents occurred first when he worked at Holy Rosary Parish in Woodland and later after he had been transferred to Our lady of Mercy in Redding. Ojeda reportedly crawled into the girl’s bed to molest her when he was an overnight guest in her parents’ home.
In exchange for the plea to the single count, the District Attorney’s Office dropped six other felony counts involving the same victim that could have brought Ojeda 20 years in prison.