California priest gets prison for sexual abuse during flight

LOS ANGELES (KRON/AP) — A Southern California priest has been sentenced to six months in jail for sexually abusing a woman on a nighttime flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.

Marcelo de Jesumaria was sentenced Monday in federal court in Los Angeles. A jury found the 46-year-old guilty in May of abusive sexual contact.

Prosecutors say the Catholic priest touched a woman’s buttocks, breast and groin as she slept during a flight last August.

The woman, who is a model, says she woke up as Jesumaria was touching her and reported the abuse to flight attendants and later an FBI agent. Prosecutors say Jesumaria told the agent that he enjoys “cozy flights” with women and purposefully changed his seat to be next to the woman, but he denied touching her.

Jesumaria was previously with the Diocese of San Bernardino, California.

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