Long Beach priest Jose Cuevas pleaded Not Guilty to eight misdemeanor counts of sexual battery (California Penal Code 243.4) and one felony count of lewd act with a child (California Penal Code 288). Three alleged victims accused the priest of inappropriately touching them over their clothing—one of the alleged victims is a minor.
Anytime there are allegations from 3 different alleged victims, it always makes it much more likely that the allegations are true than not true. A major issue is whether the 3 females making the allegations were friends and whether there is any “motive” for them to falsely accuse the priest.
In this case there is also the issue of whether or not the priest had the required “lewd intent”. If the allegations are in fact that the priest touched or hugged the breast area of the alleged victims and there was no other unlawful touching, there will also be the issue of whether or not the priest had “sexual intent” when the alleged touching occurred.
If in fact the priest has been a priest since 1974, and there have never been any other allegations of wrongdoing on his part, his lawyer will definitely bring that forward as part of his defense.
It will be very interesting to see how this case proceeds and what the testimony is at the trial. The one thing that is for sure is that if the priest is found guilty, he will likely spend years in prison.
It certainly seems there have been a large number of allegations made of sexual misconduct with priests recently.
If you or a loved one is facing sex crimes charges in Southern California due to sexual battery (California penal Code 243.4) or Lewd and Lascivious acts with a child (California Penal Code 288), please contact the sex crimes lawyers in Orange and Los Angeles Counties at (877) 466-5245.