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Woman accused of sex with minor on church retreat seeks trial

A woman who pleaded no contest in July to having sex with a teen at a church retreat sought to withdraw her plea on Friday and send the case to a jury trial, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Jameliah Bates, 35, was set to be sentenced to three years in prison Friday after she pleaded no contest to one count of lewd acts with a minor in a plea agreement reached in July, according to the district attorney’s office.

The alleged lewd conduct happened on a retreat in Sacramento organized by the South San Francisco-based Hope United Methodist Church in May 2013.

There, prosecutors said Bates started to kiss a 14- or 15-year-old boy and the next day convinced him to have sex with her in a hotel room.

After the retreat, she kept in contact with the boy, becoming a trusted family friend and sent him text messages and naked photos, according to prosecutors.

She had sex with the boy again in June 2014. The victim told a cousin what happened and Bates was arrested and charged, prosecutors said.

The case went to trial once before, but Bates changed her plea to no contest on the first day. On Friday, she was given a new attorney as she sought to send the case back to trial.

A hearing on the motion to withdraw her plea was set for this Friday morning. She remains in custody on $500,000 bail.

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