Rafael Venegas (Photo courtesy SMPD)
Rafael Venegas (Photo courtesy SMPD)

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — A priest at St. Anne Catholic Church in Santa Monica has plead guilty to battery and providing alcohol to a minor, police announced Thursday.

Rafael Venegas plead guilty Nov. 9 to one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor, also a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to one day in jail, 364 days of probation, 160 hours of community service and counseling through the Catholic Archdiocese, which must contain a segment dealing with sexual compulsion, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department.

Venegas was initially charged by the City Attorney’s Office with one count of sexual battery and providing alcohol to a minor. Police began their investigation in July after a 20-year-old woman, who was not a parishioner of St. Anne’s, told them that she was assaulted on church property in September of 2011.

Representatives from St. Anne’s and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles could not be reached for comment by presstime.



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