Last Update: Thursday, December 12, 2013
|Nevarez Pleads No Contest, Gets 6 Years For Molestation|
|Written by Diana Martinez|
|Thursday, 19 September 2013 05:22|
Epifanio "Pete" Nevarez, 58, accused of committing sex crimes against a 13-year-old student at a St. Didacus Catholic school in Sylmar, has been sentenced to six years in state prison.
Nevarez, a volunteer girl's softball coach, pleaded no contest to charges that he committed lewd and lascivious acts with a minor in his Canyon Country home.
He was sentenced on Sept. 11 by Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig at the San Fernando courthouse. Nevarez is also required to register as a sex offender.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles had previously indicated a background check was not done because Nevarez, as a volunteer, would not be supervising children alone.
Police said the incidents took place after school in his home. Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Special Victims Bureau said the young girl was an acquaintance of a family member.
When news first broke about this incident, the school held an emergency meeting of parents and instructed them not to speak to the press that waited outside. Some parishioners however, expressed their concern that the school had not conducted a background check.
Nevarez was arrested March 4 by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff 's Station deputies after an investigation by the Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Unit.
Since the arrest and subsequent court hearings, there have been heated exchanges between family members outside of the courtroom with members of the Nevarez family insisting the young girl was lying and described him as a loving grandfather and family man.
Family members of the young girl maintained that they had no doubt that the teenager was telling the truth, and expressed their concern that there could be additional victims.
Nevarez was initially charged with four counts, but the other counts were dismissed with his plea, according to a court official.
When contacted by the (italics) San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol (italics end) for reaction, St. Didacus referred all calls to the media relations department of the archdiocese.
"Epifanio Nevarez served as a volunteer assistant coach for one season in 2012. He was no longer volunteering at the school when the school was informed of his arrest for sexual misconduct that did not occur on school grounds," said Carolina Guevara, archdiocese spokeswoman, in written statement.
"The school worked with law enforcement and the Archdiocese during the investigation and provided outreach and counseling to the student and the family through the Archdiocese's Office of Assistance Ministry. A parent meeting was held to inform parents and the school community about the matter and the steps taken by the school. The school also underwent a review of personnel and volunteers, and all were found to be in full compliance with required fingerprinting and abuse prevention programs.
"In addition, the school has strict security measures to restrict unauthorized public access on to the campus. The protection of children and young people at our parishes and schools is of the utmost priority in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. We offer our prayers for all those impacted by this matter."
|Last Updated on Thursday, 19 September 2013 05:24|