It wasn’t the news parishioners at St. John’s Catholic Church in San Lorenzo wanted to hear. Their former priest, Father David Mendoza-Vela was arrested on 30 counts of Lewd acts with a child on Thursday. Some couldn’t believe it. “He’s a priest, he’s a good priest,” one unidentified parishioner said.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Department officials say the alleged abuse began in 2016 over an 18 month period at St. John’s Church and involved one child.
Parents at St. John’s school recently got a letter notifying them about the arrest.
Father Vela was transferred to Corpus Christi Church in Fremont in 2016. Parishioners learned about the arrest at Sunday mass.
“Our feelings are confused, we didn’t know anything about it,” said parishioner Sandra Espinoza.
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