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News, Santa Monica, Police Department

Santa Monica Police Investigate St. Anne’s Church Priest For Sexual Assault

Posted Jul. 26, 2012, 4:01 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

St. Anne’s Church priest Rafael Venegas is currently being investigated following an allegation of sexual assault.

The 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 incident involving Venegas occurred on the property of St. Anne’s Parish in September 2011.

SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said the allegations remain under investigation and no arrests have been made at this time.

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 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.

Post a comment


Jul. 26, 2012, 6:48:53 am

Judy Jones said...

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. 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., (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.

Jul. 26, 2012, 11:26:34 am

Angelo Mangi said...

Does it strike anyone else as being decidedly unfair for an alleged perp to be publicly identified while his accuser's identity remains concealed? According to the 4th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution and corresponding sections of California's Constitution an accused is supposed to be PROsecuted, not PERsecuted. I know neither of the principals in this matter, nor do I have any knowledge of the facts of the case beyond what is in this article. I find it hard for the scales of Justice to impartially weigh the facts when they are so obviously tilted before charges are even brought. Having said that, it should also be stressed that anyone who engages in sexual assault deserves to have his you-know-what cut off and shoved up his you-know-where. But only AFTER conviction.

Jul. 30, 2012, 6:11:20 am

SM said...

Odd that the "victim" reports an assault from almost a year ago? Sounds suspicious. Angelo, what are you going to cut off when females are convicted of sexual assault...or do you think only males commit this crime?

SM Mirror TV