Friday, September 7, 2012

Priest waives hearing, judge sets Dec. 6 trial date - Sacramento Bee (blog)

A popular Catholic priest accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl waived his preliminary hearing today and was scheduled for a Dec. 6 trial in Sacramento Superior Court.

The attorney for the Rev. Uriel Ojeda said the overwhelming odds that his client would be ordered to stand trial anyway made the decision to bypass the preliminary hearing an easy one.

"The burden of proof on a prelim is so low that an accusation by itself is going to be enough to hold him to answer," defense attorney Jesse Ortiz said. "So it didn't make any sense for us to go through this process."

Ojeda, 33, is accused on seven counts of molesting the girl while he served at parishes in Woodland and Redding.

Large crowds of supporters have gathered on behalf of Ojeda at his Sacramento court hearings.

Judge Marjorie Koller scheduled court hearings for Ojeda on Oct. 19 and Nov. 30 ahead of his Nov. 30 trial.

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