March 16, 2005

Priest visiting LA found guilty of child molestation

Dateline Alabama

The Associated Press

March 16, 2005

A Roman Catholic priest on temporary assignment from Rome was convicted Wednesday of molesting three boys from a Los Angeles parish during a three-year period that began shortly after his transfer in 2001.

A jury deliberated for one day before convicting Fernando Lopez, 41, of four felony counts of a lewd act with a child, one felony count of sexual battery by restraint, two misdemeanor counts of child molestation and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

Lopez, a Colombian citizen, was arrested in September 2004 after a 17-year-old boy from St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Koreatown told his older brother, who volunteered at the parish, that Lopez had molested him at a Japanese restaurant and in the church basement.

Two other alleged victims came forward later: a 23-year-old man who said he was abused in 2001 and a 16-year-old boy who said Lopez began molesting him when he was 13.

Posted by kshaw at March 16, 2005 07:28 PM