Catholic priest sent to prison for groping model as she slept beside him on flight

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Catholic Priest Gets Prison Sentence For Groping Model on Overnight Flight

By INSIDE EDITION

A Catholic priest was sentenced to six months in prison for groping a model who was sleeping beside him on a flight.

Marcelo de Jesumaria, 46, was also given six months of home confinement as he was sentenced in federal court in Los Angeles, California on Monday. He was found guilty of felony abusive sexual contact in March.

Prosecutors said that Jesumaria touched the sleeping woman's buttocks, breast and groin during a nighttime flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles last August.

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He had been placed in the seat beside the woman after lying to flight attendants that she was his wife, the Associated Press reported.

The woman, who is a model but who has not been identified, said she woke up as the man was touching her.

"This creep next to me was groping me, my boobs and butt!" she wrote in a text message to her agent during the flight. "He had a full-on grip and then I woke up and he wouldn't let go of me."

Flight attendants said she was shaking and emotional when she told them what happened. They moved her and Jesumaria was arrested when the flight landed.

He admitted that he had purposefully changed his seat to be beside her, but he denied touching her, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that Jesumaria had considered the touching consensual because " she did not reject his touches and he interpreted her silence, because she was asleep, as 'coyness.'"

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But his attorney said that Jesumaria now realizes it was "inappropriate" to touch her. The attorney, Steven Cron, argued that his client didn't deserve prison and was undergoing therapy.

"I think that's a sad ending to this tale," Cron said.

Jesumaria was previously with the Diocese of San Bernardino, California but was removed from the ministry after his alleged actions came to light.

In a statement, the diocese slammed Jesumaria's actions as "sinful and unlawful."

"We are deeply regretful of any harm that may have occurred as a result of his actions," it added.

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RELATED: Photos from the New Hampshire prep school rape trial:

20 PHOTOS
New Hampshire rape trial (Owen Labrie)
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Catholic priest sent to prison for groping model as she slept beside him on flight
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie raises his hand as he is sworn-in prior to testifying in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
While the jury still deliberates, former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie, left, leaves the Merrimack Superior Court at the end of day with security in tow Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, Pool)
Owen Labrie looks around the courtroom during his trial, in Merrimack County Superior Court, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. During opening statements, prosecutors said Labrie raped a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Recent St. Paul's School graduate Owen Labrie, right, stands with one of his lawyers, J.W. Carney, as jurors view the school grounds, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
The entrance to the elite St. Paul’s School is seen Friday Aug. 14, 2015 in Concord, N.H., Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, Owen Labrie, a former student, goes on trial Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, for taking part in a practice at the school known as “Senior Salute” where graduating boys try to take the virginity of younger girls before the school year ends. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Owen Labrie, right, talks with his lawyer during his trial, in Merrimack County Superior Court, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. During opening statements, prosecutors said Labrie raped a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle delivers her opening arguments against Owen Labrie to the jury in the Merrimack County Superior Court, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Owen Labrie's defense attorney J.W. Carney, left, gives his opening arguments as prosecutor Catherine Ruffle, lower right and Judge Larry Smukler listen Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Recent St. Paul's School graduate Owen Labrie, second from left, stands between his lawyers J.W. Carney, left, and Sam Zaganjori, as prosecutor Catherine Ruffle walks by as the jury visits the school, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Former St. Paul's student Owen Labrie confers with his lawyer before the start of the second day of his trial at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. Labrie is accused of raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Former St. Paul's student Owen Labrie waits for the second day of his trial to begin at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. Labrie is accused of raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Tucker Marchese testifies Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, in the trial of Owen Labrie at the Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Malcom Salovaara testifies Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, during the trial of Owen Labrie at the Merrimack County Superior Court Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman in 2014 as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Andrew Thomas testifies Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, during the trial of Owen Labrie at the Merrimack County Superior Court Concord, N.H. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman in 2014 as part of the "Senior Salute," a practice of sexual conquest at the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool)
Defendant Owen Labrie, left, and his attorney Jay Carney are seen in court at his trial at the Merrimack County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Concord, N.H., after Carney's cross examination of the former student who accused Labrie of raping her in May of 2014. Labrie is charged with raping the then-15-year-old girl at St. Paul's School in Concord two days before he graduated in 2014. (Geoff Forester/Concord Monitor via AP, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie stands next to a map of his school's campus in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie testifies in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie holds his arms over his head as he describes how he disrobed a female classmate while testifying in his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
Former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie arrives for his trial at Merrimack Superior Court in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Labrie is charged with raping a 15-year-old freshman as part of Senior Salute, in which seniors try to romance and have intercourse with underclassmen before leaving the prestigious school in Concord. The defense contends the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
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