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News, Santa Monica, Police Department

News Update

Arraignment Set For Friday For Santa Monica Priest Accused Of Sexual Battery

St. Anne’s Church priest Rafael Venegas.
SMPD
St. Anne’s Church priest Rafael Venegas.

Posted Jul. 30, 2012, 9:01 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

St. Anne’s Church priest Rafael Venegas will be arraigned at the LAX Courthouse this Friday on two charges -- sexual battery and providing a minor under the age of 21 with alcohol.

SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said Venegas turned himself into the department on Monday -- accompanied by his lawyer -- and was released after posting $20,000 bail.

An adult female, who is not a parishioner of St. Anne’s at 2017 Colorado Avenue, contacted the Santa Monica Police Department on July 1 and reported that the sexual battery incident involving Venegas occurred on the property of St. Anne’s Parish in September 2011.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective DeRyck at 310.458.8944, Sergeant Jacob at 310.458.8460 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24hours) at 310.458.8495.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1.800.78.CRIME (1.800.78.27463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.

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Comments

Jul. 30, 2012, 1:11:42 pm

Judy Jones said...

This brave victim is to be commended for speaking up, contacting police, and getting this priest arrested. This is not an easy thing to do, so let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes Rafael Venegas, will find the courage and strength to speak up, call police. Keep in 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.

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