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Enforcement and Removal
03/20/2015

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Former Sacramento-area priest convicted of child sex offense now faces deportation

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – A former Catholic priest from Mexico, who was convicted last year of sexually assaulting an underage altar girl in his parish, now faces deportation following his arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Hector Coria-Gonzalez, 46, was taken into custody at his Davis residence early Friday morning by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers.  He is being held without bond at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center while his case undergoes review by the immigration court. 

Coria pleaded guilty in Yolo County Superior Court in July 2014 to statutory rape for engaging in sexual acts with a 16-year-old girl who belonged to the St. James’ Parish in Davis where he served as a priest.

“We entrust members of the clergy to act as role models for our youth,” said Michael Vaughn, assistant field office director for ERO Sacramento. “Tragically, when that trust is violated, the effects are far-reaching. Today’s arrest is yet another example of how ERO uses its unique immigration enforcement authorities to help keep our communities safe.”

At the time of his arrest last year on the criminal charges, Coria was in the U.S. lawfully. However, when the Catholic Church stripped Coria of his priesthood following his conviction, it paved the way for ICE to seek his removal. Following his arrest Friday morning, ICE filed the paperwork placing Coria in formal deportation proceedings.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/23/2015