East Bay priest arrested for suspected child sexual abuse

Bay Area

A Catholic priest in Alameda County has been arrested on 30 counts of suspected child sexual physical abuse, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

Through an investigation, detectives learned that the abuse with one child happened over an 18-month period beginning in 2016.

Father David Mendoza-Vela was working at St. John’s Catholic Church in San Lorenzo during that time. He had been transferred to Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fremont. 

At this time, there are no known cases in the Fremont area. 

Father Vela has been put on leave by the diocese. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail. 

Sheriff’s say there are no other children involved that they are aware of, however, victims are encouraged to come forward to report any suspected abuse. 

The case has been referred to the Alameda County District Attorney for prosecution. 

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