Priest Released After Sex Assault Allegations

Father Jose Alexis Davila was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a young woman

A San Diego priest has been released from jail after a 20-year-old woman accused him of sexually assaulting her, according to clerk at the San Diego County jail.

Father Jose Alexis Davila, 53, has only been preaching at St. Jude’s Church in Southcrest for two months.

“We have nothing but good things to say about him,” said parishioner Delia Baez. “He's very new, but in the short time he's been here, he's come across as a very spiritual man.  Every time you heard mass in his presence, the word of God came through.”

But police told a different story.

They believed Davila sexually assaulted a 20-year-old who came over to his home on December 30. Davila and the victim's family have been acquaintances for several months.

“Immediately after the sexual assault occurred, the victim returned home, reported the assault to her family and to the police,” Lt. Anastasia Smith said.

Two days later, Davila turned himself in to officers at his home.

Davila's friends who've known him since he preached in Las Vegas eight years ago, say he's trustworthy

“He is innocent, complete innocent.  He is an excellent person, excellent priest,” Humberto Morales said.

“I believe 100 percent, it's not true what the lady say,” Yadira Jimenez.

Davila has also made an impact with young people at St. Judes, according to parishioners.

“He would give me advice when I needed it the most.  He was the person that....if you're friends weren't there, he was there for you,” teen parishioner, Elizabeth Cesena said.

The church's attorney gave this statement:

"St. Jude is cooperating with police. We are also conducting an internal investigation. Father Davila has been removed from the ministry."

The details surrounding his release from custody have not been released.

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