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Columbian priest visiting Lodi to be tried on misdemeanor sex offenses

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 12:00 am

A priest who served on a temporary basis in Lodi has been held to trial on two misdemeanor charges in Yuba City. A trial readiness conference is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Father Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa, 43, was arrested on March 10 after a 16-year-old girl in Yuba City told authorities that Guarin-Sosa sexually abused her while he visited her family at their residence.

Guarin-Sosa was visiting Lodi’s St. Anne’s Catholic Church while filling in for his vacationing brother, Father Mario Guarin, when he was arrested in Yuba City. Stockton Diocese Bishop Stephen Blaire removed Guarin-Sosa as a priest within the diocese as soon as he was arrested.

Guarin-Sosa, a native of Colombia, faces two misdemeanor charges — touching an intimate part of another person against her will, and annoying or molesting a person under 18 years of age, Sutter County Superior Court records show.

If convicted of the charges, Guarin-Sosa will face a fine of up to $7,000, 18 months in jail, or both, according to the California Penal Code.

During a preliminary hearing on June 27, Judge Chris Chandler rejected felony charges of false imprisonment and inappropriate touching. If convicted of the original felony charges, Guarin-Sosa would have faced up to two years in county jail, a fine of up to $3,000, or both; or to as long as four years in state prison, a $10,000 fine or both.

Guarin-Sosa was released from Sutter County Jail on $75,000 bail in March, but he was transferred to Sacramento on an immigration hold.

Guarin-Sosa, who is from Colombia, posted $5,000 bail granted by an immigration judge on March 27, according to Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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