The Rev. Julio Guarin-Sosa is being held at Sutter County Jail in Yuba City, north of Sacramento. The district attorney's office says he will be arraigned later Tuesday.
The diocese says the 43-year-old priest had been assisting at St. Anne's Parish in Lodi, 40 miles south of the state capital. The diocese has revoked Guarin-Sosa's authority to minister.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said in a statement that California bishops have a "habit of accepting foreign priests with little to no investigation of their backgrounds."
A statement from the diocese said Bishop Stephen Blaire had received a letter of good standing by Guarin-Sosa's diocese in Colombia.