Since 1985, when renown priest (name withheld for privacy) was arrested in Louisiana for having had inappropriate relationships with up to 39 children over a period of 11 years, the Catholic Church has been the focus of a good bit of criticism concerning its priests; but what about the workers in Catholic schools? Recently, 29-year-old (name withheld for privacy) was arrested on suspicion of having molested a young boy at All Saints Catholic School in Hayward. The boy is 14 years old and local law enforcement officials say that the abuse went on for about 2 years, both in the school cafeteria and at her home. Evidently, she was working in an after-school program at the institution when the alleged incidents occurred. She has been charged with child molestation (CA Penal Code 288.5), contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony (CA Penal Code 288.3) and several counts of oral copulation on a child by force (CA Penal Code 288(C)).
If prosecutors can prove that she had sexual contact with a minor under the age of 14 for 3 months or more, then she will face felony penalties (at conviction), meaning either 6, 12, or 16 years in a California state prison. Violation of CA Penal Code 288.5 is also considered a ‘strike’ under the three strikes law and lifetime registration as a sex offender. If she is convicted of the charges pursuant to CA Penal Code 288.3, she will face additional penalties of 16 months to 3 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine. As for the oral copulation of a minor charge, she could spend up to 8 years in state prison since there is a more than a 10-year gap between her age and the age of the child in question.