US priest groped airline passenger
Catholic priest Marcelo De Jesumaria, 46, above, has been jailed for six months for groping a woman during a flight from Philadelpia to Los Angeles last August.
De Jesumaria, of the Congregation of the Resurrection, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell in Los Angeles for the crime of abusive sexual contact. An additional six months of home detention was imposed on him.
The victim, who had been sleeping, told authorities that she awoke to find De Jesumaria touching the top of her leg. He then wrapped his arm around her body to grab her breast.
The woman, a model, says that after she was woken by the priest’s advances, she reported the abuse to flight attendants and later to a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.
The priest testified that his touching was consensual because she did not reject him, and he interpreted her silence – because she was asleep – as “coyness”.
De Jesumaria’s future in the priesthood will be determined by the Congregation of the Resurrection, the diocese said.
He acknowledged that his behavior was wrong.
Hat tip: Ivan Bailey