Santa Monica News
Santa Monica Priest Pleads To Sexual Battery
By Michael Lambrose
Nov 19, 2012 - 2:50:07 PM

St. Anne's Church
The Santa Monica Police Department released a statement earlier this week concerning Rafael Venegas’ recent plea to one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor. Venegas, a priest at St. Anne’s Church at 2017 Colorado Ave. in Santa Monica, was accused of committing sexual battery against a 20 year-old female in September 2011. Although the victim was not a parishioner of the church, she stated that the crime, however, did occur on the property St. Anne’s Parish.

On July 26, 2012, three weeks after the Santa Monica Police Department began their investigation into the allegations, Venegas, accompanied by his lawyer, turned himself into local authorities. After being booked for both crimes, he was released after posting his $20,000 bail.

Venegas, who is 38, was sentenced to 364 days of probation, one day in jail, counseling and 160 hours of community service. The counseling will be done through the archdiocese and must address issues surrounding sexual compulsion. 

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