Though he reportedly lied about his credentials as a Catholic bishop, Oscar Perez, 69, still holds power over his congregation. Despite the pleas of his followers to the court, Perez received the maximum possible sentence of 330 years for the 26 molestation counts that he was convicted of in July, reports the Orange County Register. The 26 charges stem from his assault on five boys during sleepovers at his Lake Forest apartment.
The convicted pedophile preached out of a rented space at an Episcopal church. He told the parents in his congregation that he wanted boys, mostly 9 and 10 years of age, to help him spread the word of God. When Perez felt ill, he'd request that the boys sleep over.
Though Perez's attorney claimed that he only discussed puberty and circumcision with the boys and did not touch them, the boys claimed that there was inappropriate touching and kissing. According to the Register, one vicim told investigators that he was awakened by Perez sodomizing him. The children reportedly believed they would go to hell if they told anyone.
California Penal Code Section 288 covers the offenses that were used to convict Perez. The law calls for a sentence of up to eight years for each "lewd or lascivious" act committed on a victim under 14 for purposes of sexual arousal. If force or a threat of force is used, then the maximum sentence is 10 years per offense.
For victims 14 or 15 years of age, the maximum penalty is three years per charge. There are also sentencing enhancements when there are multiple victims.
Add it all up, and you have the disgraced poser bishop headed to prison for the next three centuries. In theory, Oscar Perez will be 399 years of age when he is released, which seems like an appropriate sentence for the offenses charged.
- Consult a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Zsemlye Faces Life Sentence For Groping Fully Clothed Child (FindLaw's Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog)
- Teen That Tried to Penetrate Kid With Steel Rebar Gets Plea Deal (FindLaw's Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog)
- Long Beach Cop Arrested for Child Porn Caught in Another Case (FindLaw's Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog)