WOODLAND (CBS13) – A Davis priest who pleaded guilty to charges of having a sexual relationship with a teenager was sentenced by a Yolo County Superior Court judge Friday.
CBS13 confronted Fr. Hector Coria about the allegations and sentencing.
“Excuse me father, what do you have to say about the sentencing? What do you have to say about that?” we asked.
“No comment,” Coria said.
“No comment at all? So the allegations are true?” we asked.
Investigators and church officials say Coria admitted to having an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his alter girls –- a 16-year-old –- at St. James Parish in Davis.
It came to light last May when the victim’s friend told police.
“It’s a very private matter,” said Linda Parisi, Coria’s attorney.
But during Friday’s sentencing, Coria’s attorney says the victim is calling her relationship with the 45-year-old priest a romantic one.
In a statement read by her attorney, the victim blames the church, friends and police for interfering with the love affair. She wrote: “I am not a victim of Hector Coria. I am a victim of the process … I was not abused and did not need or want protection…Like most relationships it started as a loving friendship. It turned into a caring romantic relationship, not just sexual relationship.”
Coria was sentenced to three months in county jail and three years probation. His future status as a priest is in doubt.
“Are you going to continue to be a priest? A father?” we asked.
“I will always be a Father,” Coria said.
But the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento wants him stripped of his priesthood. They released a statement to CBS13, saying “We have submitted the paperwork to Rome to have his priesthood taken away.”
Investigators say Coria’s statements made the case easy to prosecute.
“We’re just happy he took responsibility early on in the proceedings,” said Diane Ortiz, Yolo County Assistant District Attorney.
Coria is expected to turn himself in at the Yolo County Jail on October 9.