A Catholic priest pleaded guilty yesterday to three sexual battery charges and was sentenced to a dozen years in prison.

Henry Christopher Foxhoven, 45, a former Catholic priest in the Diocese of Steubenville, pleaded to the charges and was sentenced in Athens County Court of Common Pleas.

Foxhoven was accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor female between Aug. 17 and Oct. 25. The minor is a member of Holy Cross in Glouster, one of Foxhoven’s two parishes.

Under a plea deal, he must spend 12 years in prison and can’t seek early release. He also must register as a sex offender once he completes the prison term.

The diocese is gathering information to send to the pope to possibly have Foxhoven removed from the priesthood.