Sunday, April 19, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis priest pleads guilty to unlawful sex with minor

By
From page A1 | June 29, 2014 |

WOODLAND — Speaking publicly for the first time, a Davis teen who engaged in a sexual relationship with a St. James Catholic Church priest said Friday she never wanted to see the case end up in a courtroom.

“I would like the court to know that all conduct was consensual and there was no abuse or manipulation, and I did not want this matter prosecuted,” the girl, identified in court documents as “M.L.,” told Yolo Superior Court judge Paul Richardson, who had just accepted a guilty plea from defendant Hector Coria Gonzalez.

The girl said she had additional comments to make, but she would record them in a letter to be read at Coria’s Aug. 8 sentencing hearing.

In an unexpected plea deal, the 45-year-old Coria admitted to one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Under the agreement, Coria will avoid state prison and registering as a sex offender but must serve three years of probation as well as 90 days in county jail, though he may apply to serve that time through an alternative work program.

He also must attend counseling and stay away from the alleged victim until she turns 18 in November.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss three additional charges in the case — two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, also felonies, and one misdemeanor count of oral copulation with a minor.

Speaking through a Spanish interpreter, Coria, who has been free on bail since shortly after his arrest, told Richardson he understood his legal rights, waived his right to a jury trial and indicated he understood the consequences of entering a guilty plea.

Prosecuting attorney Diane Ortiz said in court that the relationship lasted about eight months, starting in September 2013 when the girl was 16, but the girl clarified in an email to The Enterprise that it began after she turned 17.

A criminal complaint filed against Coria earlier this month alleged that the conduct occurred in a home, a car and in the rectory of the 1275 B St. church.

Davis police launched an investigation in early May, arresting Coria on May 9 after serving search warrants at several undisclosed locations. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento then placed Coria on leave from St. James, where he had served since 2012.

The plea agreement was announced in court shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, about an hour and a half after the scheduled start of a hearing in which the alleged victim — who is soon leaving the state to attend college — was slated to have her testimony video recorded for future use in the case.

Coria’s defense attorney, Linda Parisi, called the agreement the “best compromise resolution” given the circumstances of the case.

“This was a very private matter between two people that for other reasons was made public — certainly not by either of these two participants — and (the girl) did not want the matter prosecuted,” Parisi said.

Ortiz, the prosecuting attorney, said while that may be the case, the fact remains that the girl’s young age made the relationship an illegal one.

“In this case it makes it more egregious because the age difference is so significant, plus he abused a position of trust by being a priest in her parish,” Ortiz said. “We’re pleased that it resolved so that we can further protect the victim from any scrutiny and publicity.”

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Aggie Pride on parade at UC Davis Picnic Day

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City wants a study of sewer rates

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Hard-of-hearing student needs community’s help

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    KDVS fund drive includes on-air pledging, plus parties and food

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Art helped sell California’s agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Sign up now for Celebrate Davis!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

    Students, families can get after-hours Internet access

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Lawyers seek resolution to Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Garamendi hosts conference for women

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Invaluable public servant’ retires after 20 years

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Your brain’s aging and a new report urges ways to stay sharp

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Injury-proof yourself for effective exercise

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Understanding risks can help women prevent leading health threats

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Free gardening advice offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Grad Night tickets on sale online

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Schenker speaks about ‘Magical Mexico’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Yolo County DA honors crime victims at annual tribute

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Holman offers Publishing 101 seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Radio-controlled airplanes will race April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Vote with your dollars at Davis Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Woodland bike rides set every Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Get some advice at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Eyewitness speaks about Israel’s election

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Join the 10,000-vegetable challenge!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

     
    NAMI group offers family support

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Watershed Wonders activities return to Putah Creek

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Yolo County Neighborhood Court seeks new volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Birding tour will benefit Putah Creek Council

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    UCD looks at building a better brain as we age

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    ‘Vault’ highlights ‘Kathak’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Two drought-preparedness water bills pass out of Senate committees

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Picnic Day favorites: dogs, bikes science

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    Strike up the band, and the bubbles!

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Ready for the parting glass

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
     
    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    Yolo Crisis Nursery still needs help

    By Our View | From Page: B6

     
    Drink up, kids, but make your choice a healthy one

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Leash your dogs; it’s the law

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Let’s not turn our backs on the Earth

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

    This Earth Day, make a pledge to cool your home

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

     
    Speak out

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B7

    .

    Sports

    Fast Aggie start negated by 14-0 USC lacrosse run

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Stagnant second-half offense sinks Devil girls

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Over the hump? DHS baseball team wins late

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lambdin, Marshall lead Aggies at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Republic FC gets another win at Bonney

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B2

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies sweep a water polo double dip

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Busy Clancy, Hall spark Devil tracksters at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Former DHS star Drexel returns to create havoc for Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Oakland blanks Kansas City

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

     
    Sports briefs: Blue Devils split a pair of tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B14 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    WISH grant funds available to eligible homebuyers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

     
    Marrone Bio Innovations strengthens its sales team

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    New phase opens at Brookfield Cottages

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    Tucos closes; new Japanese, pizza, subs debut

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    Jody Zewe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Herman Timm

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Robert Leigh Cordrey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Alice Catherine Micheltorena

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 19, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8