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News Release

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Media Relations

Los Angeles Archdiocese Priest Arrested on Molestation Charges

"Los Angeles Archdiocese Priest Arrested on Molestation Charges"

Los Angeles - On June 2, 2004, at about 2:00 p.m., 70 year-old Father Stephen Charles Hernandez, a retired Catholic priest, surrendered to detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Sexually Exploited Child Unit. He was arrested for molesting a teenage boy in 2001, who at the time was detained in the Los Angeles County juvenile facility.

Father Hernandez was ordained in 1982. He retired from the ministry in 1997, but continued to work at his parish, Lady of Guadalupe Church, in Los Angeles. His work included counseling incarcerated youth.

The investigation into Father Hernandez began in April 2002, when authorities at the detention facility contacted the Sexually Exploited Child Unit. The investigation included a search of Father Hernandez' living quarters and the Rectory at Lady of Guadalupe.

Father Hernandez is free on bail pending the filing of charges by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Because of Father Hernandez' contact with troubled youth, detectives believe there may be other victims. A photograph of Father Hernandez is available at Media Relations Section and can be E-mailed upon request.

Anyone having any information regarding Father Steven Hernandez is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department's Sexually Exploited Child Unit, at 213-485-2883. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

This news release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.