Rafael Venegas and Luis Jose Cuevas, Catholic Priests, Accused of Sex Crimes Against Females

father-Rafael Venegas.jpg
At least this can be said of the pending charges against two Roman Catholic priests from Southern California parishes--including St. Athanasus Church of Long Beach: only one of the four accusers is a child and all are female. The latest case involves Father Rafael Venegas, who is accused of sexual battery against a 20-year-old woman on the grounds of his St. Anne Catholic Church in Santa Monica.

Rafael-Venegas_booking.jpg
Suspect rafael Venegas
The woman, who is not a parishoner, claims the assault happened in September 2011, and the Santa Monica Police Department launched an investigation July 1.

Venegas turned himself in on Monday after the city attorney charged the priest with one count of sexual battery and one count of providing alcohol to a minor.

Venegas made his $20,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Father Luis Jose Cuevas, 67, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to groping a 14-year-old girl and two women in their 20s while working at St. Athanasus, which is also where the assaults allegedly happened.

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13 comments
LFFAO
LFFAO

Fr. Venegas has being a friend way before he got ordained as a priest, so we talk in a regular basis! Although, he was not allowed to talked through all this, I was finally able to talk to him yesterday! He is free of all charges...This just tells me that he was innocent!

TTakli
TTakli

Why do they put both of these priests in one article?  Fr Venegas bought alcohol for a 20-year-old woman (NOT a parishioner of his church) and assaulted her (defined as "unlawful or unwanted touching of a person of their private area).  Fr Cuevas—what a scumbag!—touching a 14-year-old girl for his sexual pleasure.  Two completely different things.  Shame on you OC Weekly.

 

That being said, people are innocent until proven guilty. The 14-year-old in Fr Cuevas's case is probably telling the truth, and good for her.  The 20-year-old... well, priests often go around in plain clothes when not saying mass or having appointments. Once she sobered up (remember, he bought her alcohol), it is very POSSIBLE she regretted whatever happened and reported him because he was a priest. I read another article, and  Fr Venegas was counseled (most likely by his peers) to turn himself in to be booked once Santa Monica had enough information to make an arrest. 

 

If some of you previous commentators notice, these instances were reported by the people abused TO THE POLICE as well as the archdiocese.  This is the failing of the lay people who have been abused in the past but never got justice.  They reported it to the archdiocese, thinking they would do something about it.  How stupid is that?  Priests are not immune to our laws.  You have to report it to the police.  There is a lot of blame that was never placed on the parents of the abused youth for dropping the ball and forgetting that, oh my God, crimes should be reported to the police.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

Looks like he should be shouting "the plane, the plane'!

lilyjaquez
lilyjaquez

This priest was @ Our Holy Family Catholic Church in Glendale and was at that time on of the best, BUT OMG!!!!!!!!!! No matter how charming and peaceful priests talking about God and trying to bring a community together, they have the devil inside. Even worst the archdiocese paid his bail and his free again to continue committing crime. Why justice can’t be made!!!!!!!

snapjudy
snapjudy

Let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered sex crimes and misdeeds by Cuevas, will find the courage and strength to speak up, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing. Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others. Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com, (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,)

snapjudy
snapjudy

Let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and misdeeds by Rafael Venegas, will find the courage and strength to speak up, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing. Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others. Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com, (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,) is the worlds oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word priest in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @frantom Media Report is a sack of shit—and I'm being polite.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @frantom Catholic League isn't a sack of shit; it's a warehouse full of it.

frantom
frantom

 @GustavoArellano You can't  distinguish "polite" from your own vulgarity - how can you say Media Report or the Catholic League is a sack?

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