The following comes from a March 11 Fresno Bee article by Rob Parsons:

A former Catholic priest in Los Banos pleaded guilty Friday to possession of child pornography, the Merced County District Attorney’s Office confirmed.

The Rev. Robert E. Gamel, 65, is the former head of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Los Banos, and was commonly known throughout the city as “Father Bob.” He was head of the church in Los Banos from 2009 until December 2014.

Gamel was charged with possession of a nude photograph of a teenage boy. Gamel told other priests he sought out the illicit photograph on the Internet, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Sun-Star.

The allegations against Gamel first surfaced in August 2014. Officials from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno informed police that Gamel was suspected of obtaining naked photographs of a teenage parishioner, according to the affidavit.

Police, in the affidavit, described a pattern of behavior involving Gamel and young male parishioners that made others in the church “uncomfortable.”

Allegations described included hugging a young man in a single-person restroom, rubbing the back of a sleeping teenager and touching young men on their arms, chest and shoulders.

Church officials sent letters to eight other California churches where Gamel served since joining the priesthood in 1990.

Investigators said they do not believe there were any other victims.

Gamel was placed on leave for several months before he was formally removed as the St. Joseph’s priest in December 2014. During the investigation, Gamel was transferred to another location where he reportedly ministered only to senior citizens. He was removed from working in the ministry following his arrest in June 2015, church officials said.