March 17, 2005

Priest Is Guilty in Sex Abuse

Los Angeles Times

By Natasha Lee, Times Staff Writer

A Roman Catholic priest, formerly serving at a Koreatown church, was found guilty Wednesday of molesting three teenagers he met through parish functions between 2001 and 2004.

Father Fernando Lopez, 41, who was an associate pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle parish, was convicted of charges involving three males, ages 14, 16, and 19 at the time the incidents occurred, said prosecutor Darci Johnson of the Los Angeles County district attorney's Sex Crimes Division.

The incidents occurred mostly in church facilities and in cars.

Lopez was convicted of four counts of felony lewd acts 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, who is scheduled for sentencing on April 22, could face more than eight years combined in state prison and county jail, Johnson said.

Posted by kshaw at March 17, 2005 07:36 AM