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TEMPLE

Priest accused of sexual assault pleads no contest

By Louis Ojeda Jr.

TEMPLE - An elderly New York priest arrested in Milam County for sexual assault last year entered a plea of no contest to a lesser charge of injury to the elderly on Monday.

The alleged incident involving Stephen Mary Valenta, 86, of Staten Island, N.Y., occurred in May 2008 while he was reportedly filling in for the regular parish priest at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

The incident reportedly did not occur at the church located in Rockdale, about 50 miles southeast of Temple.

The plea agreement was for five years probation.

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