Third victim testifies against Fresno priest accused of sexual abuse

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The preliminary hearing of the Fresno Anglican priest accused of sexual abuse entered its third day.

Jesus Serna is facing 18 counts of felony sexual battery involving multiple adult male members of the church.

Friday's hearing brought very similar testimony from a third alleged victim.

The man testified that he was sexually assaulted on two separate occasions by the priest while the two were alone in his office.

Jesus Serna, who was known to his followers as Father Antonio, served from 2007 until 2017 at Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Anglican Church in Fresno.

He listened to Friday's testimony through a court-appointed translator as the alleged victim told the court he was assaulted by the priest in January of 2018.

"I felt ashamed. I felt my identity had been taken from me," the witness said.

RELATED: Second victim testifies against Fresno priest accused of sex crimes

The witness testified that he sought out help from the priest because he and his wife were having marital problems.

The alleged victim claimed Serna sexually molested him during a one-on-one meeting in his office.

Then about a week later, the alleged victim went back for a second consultation, but this time took his wife.

According to the alleged victim, Serna at one point asked the wife to leave his office, and that's when the priest sexually assaulted him.

"The father asked me to pull down my pants and my boxers. I didn't want to but he said he wanted to see why my wife thought I was cheating. That's when he touched my private parts," the witness said.

The witness said he was upset and left the office immediately, but at the following Sunday service, he said the priest had a message for him.

"He came up to me and said I better not tell anyone," he said.

Action News legal analyst Tony Capozzi says the priest took advantage of his status in the church to prey on members of the congregation.

"He's portraying himself to be a religious healer. I could see how someone could be taken into that situation. But, once the sexual molestation comes into it, they make that complaint, and they should've gone to the police but normally that doesn't happen," Capozzi said.

Jesus Serna was arrested in February but remains out on bond.
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