Judge delays sentencing for church choir director; defense to seek new trial

By From page A3 | August 14, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Sentencing was delayed Wednesday for the former longtime choir director for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, who was found guilty last month of 25 felony counts of performing lewd acts on a child.

Jim Manuel was arrested in 2012 after a former choir member told police she had a sexual relationship with Manuel that started in 2001 when she was 15. The illicit relationship ended in 2005 when the victim, then 19, found out Manuel had been married for three years.

The victim, now an adult, testified during Manuel’s jury trial that she went to police in 2012 after she discovered one of her friends had started engaging in phone sex with Manuel.

Judge R. Michael Smith ordered Manuel, who is in jail without bail, to return to court Sept. 12 for sentencing.

The delay arose after Manuel’s defense attorney told Smith he needed more time to make a written request for a new trial.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 4 comments

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  • 2realAugust 14, 2014 - 5:45 am


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  • JimboAugust 14, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    Cases like this make me believe sometimes the 'victim' is more an accomplice until jealousy set in.

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  • WalkAMileInHerShoesAugust 21, 2014 - 12:57 am

    @Jimbo: Although I acknowledge the fact that sometimes, things play out the way that you are insinuating, I happen to know the victim (no quotation marks) very well, and this series of disgusting and predatory acts does not play out like the type of story that you are imagining. I would like you to place yourself in the victim's parent's shoes, or the victim's current boyfriend's shoes, and see if you can convince her to just get over her jealous past and that a 14-year-old girl having a sexual relationship with a man well over double her age is just an "accomplice" to the act.

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  • Juror #7November 18, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    I can confirm your statement. I was on the jury and "JImbo's" assumption is WAY OFF BASE.. Unfortunately everyone has an opinion even if they don't know what they are talking about :-(

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