St. Anne’s Church priest Rafael Venegas will be arraigned at the LAX Courthouse today on two charges – sexual battery and providing a minor under the age of 21 with alcohol.
SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said Venegas turned himself into the department on Monday – accompanied by his lawyer – and was released after posting $20,000 bail.
An adult female, who is not a parishioner of St. Anne’s at 2017 Colorado Avenue, contacted the Santa Monica Police Department on July 1 and reported that the sexual battery incident involving Venegas occurred on the property of St. Anne’s Parish in September 2011.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective DeRyck at 310.458.8944, Sergeant Jacob at 310.458.8460 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24hours) at 310.458.8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call WeTip at 1.800.78.CRIME (1.800.78.27463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. You will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000, if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.