Photo: Rev. Hector D. Mendoza-Vela
FREMONT — A Roman Catholic priest is in trouble with the law. Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the Rev. Hector D. Mendoza-Vela on suspicion of child sexual abuse.
Mendoza-Vela, 42, is accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy during an 18-month period, starting in 2016. Authorities say the priest confessed while meeting with investigators, and during a phone call with the victim.
Prior to these incidents, Mendoza-Vela was assigned to Corpus Christi Catholic Church, located in Fremont. Before that, Mendoza-Vela was assigned to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in San Lorenzo. Now he is on administrative leave.
The victim claims Mendoza-Vela sexually abused him 30 times, which continued into 2017. Most of these alleged incidents occurred outside of church property inside a private home.
Mendoza-Vela is accused of committing acts to gratify his own lust, passion and sexual desires, while he was with the boy.
An investigation launched in response to a complaint from the boy resulted in Mendoza-Vela being arrested on March 28. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail, with bail for his release denied.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against the priest on April 2. Mendoza-Vela faces a total of 30 counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts upon a child. At the time of these alleged incidents, the victim was 14 and 15 years of age.
Presently, authorities are unsure whether there are more victims of unreported child sexual abuse related to this case. Anyone with information can call 510-271-6395.