|For Immediate Release
April 2nd, 2004
District Attorney Spokesperson
(714) 347-8405 (O)
(714) 323-4486 (C)
CATHOLIC PRIEST SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN JAIL FOR MOLESTING A 15-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PARISHIONER
Fullerton – Father Gerardo Jarencio Tanilong, 72, of Our Lady of Guadalupe-Delhi, in Santa Ana, was sentenced today to six months in jail for two (2) felony counts of committing a lewd act upon a child. Tanilong will be placed on felony probation for three years, stay away from the victim, and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. If he violates his probation, he could be sent to prison for up to three years.
On July 12, 2003, Tanilong was traveling through Anaheim with the 15-year-old girl and her parents as they returned from a church function. Tanilong was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle with Jane Doe when he molested her. The girl’s parents were in the front seat when the incident took place. Jane Doe told her parents about the assault soon after returning home.
“Father Tanilong violated the most sacred trust of all — the trust of parents who placed their child near him and the trust of a child who respected his position as a spiritual leader. No one, no matter what job title he has, gets a pass for violating a child,” said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “The real hero in this unfortunate case is the 15-year-old girl. She had the courage and the conviction to come forward, even though the situation could have been embarrassing for her. Because of her courage and her commitment to seek justice, Father Tanilong will be made to accept the consequences of his criminal actions.”
Tanilong will begin serving his sentence on Monday, May 17, 2004, at the Orange County Jail.