An immigration judge allowed a Catholic priest temporarily serving in Lodi to be released on bail Wednesday.

Father Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa, 43, has been charged with a felony count of false imprisonment, and misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a minor and sexual battery involving a 16-year-old girl at a Mass conducted in a private home in Yuba City, according to the Appeal-Democrat newspaper, based in Marysville.

Jacquelyn Stenson, a deputy district attorney in Sutter County, refused to discuss specifics of the Sutter County charges. Guarin-Sosa's attorney, Markus Dombois, has not returned several calls from the News-Sentinel since Guarin-Sosa was arrested.

Guarin-Sosa was previously released from Sutter County Jail on $75,000 bail, but he was transferred to Sacramento on an immigration hold. He was in custody at Sacramento County Jail, which has an agreement with immigration authorities to house inmates in immigration-related cases.

A judge granted bail during a hearing Wednesday, according to Virginia Kice, the Western Regional Communications Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She said ICE had previously ordered that Guarin-Sosa be held without bond, but he sought a redetermination of conditions of his custody in immigration court.

Guarin-Sosa's immigration case remains pending, and the court will determine whether he may legally remain in the U.S.

At the time of his arrest on March 10, Guarin-Sosa was visiting Lodi's St. Anne's Catholic Church while filling in for his vacationing brother, Father Mario Guarin. Stockton Diocese Bishop Stephen Blaire removed Guarin-Sosa as a priest within the diocese as soon as he was arrested.

A preliminary hearing has been set for April 26 in Sutter County Superior Court in Yuba City.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at

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