Catholic priest found guilty of sexually assaulting sleeping woman mid-flight on plane
| May 30th 2015
A Catholic priest has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a female passenger while she slept on a plane.
The court heard during a three-day trial how the victim woke up to find Father Marcelo De Jesumaria's "hands on her breast, groin and buttocks" while the flight was mid-air.
He was found guilty of abusive sexual contact today following the sick assault, which was reported to flight crew on board the August flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.
The priest, of the California Diocese of San Bernardino, was greeted by police officers at the gate.
The diocese he served is the fifth-largest in the country, with a Catholic population of one million.
In a statement, a spokesman said: "The Diocese of San Bernardino considers the actions alleged of Father De Jesumaria in the federal indictment to be sinful and unlawful.
"We are deeply regretful of any harm that may have occurred as a result of his actions."
His future as a priest will now be subject to consideration by church bosses.
De Jesumaria will be sentenced August 24.
He could face two years behind bars.
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