A church pastor accused of bedding the 13-year-old daughter of a church elder is said to have told her it was God’s will for them to have sex.
Suspect Victor Manuel Hernandez-Pineda, 53, from Richmond in the US state of California, was arrested by police after his victim, now 21, said she had suffered three years of abuse.
His accuser, named only as Karen, is the daughter of church official Pablo Cifuentes at the pastor’s Iglesia Pentecostes Movimiento De Gloria.
The allegations only emerged after Karen recently told her parents.
Karen said that Hernandez-Pineda would pick her up after school and take her to a hotel room, according to local media.
She said: “He took me to a hotel near the school and at that moment I told him that I didn’t feel safe.
“I didn’t feel good and that we shouldn’t do it, but he made me do it.”
Karen said the abuse happened five times over three years and that it ruined her life.
She explained: “It changed my life totally. Mentally, I was dead. It killed me. I did not think the same, my grades went down.
“I was angry with my parents at home. I acted up. I could not tell my parents anything and I was always angry.”
Her father and their family finally left the church a month ago.
Cifuentes said that he had heard other complaints about the pastor including an allegation made by a 16-year-old named as Joseline Alvarez.
She said the pastor summoned her to a private meeting at the church and when she went upstairs, he allegedly touched her thigh and tried to kiss her but she ran out.
Joseline said: “I just didn’t know what to think because he’s a pastor. Like, why would he do that to me?”
Hernandez-Pineda now faces three counts of kidnapping and four counts of molesting a girl under the age of 14, according to local media.
The police believe there could be more victims and are appealing for them to come forward.
The pastor has been held at the Martinez Detention Facility since 1st December.
Richmond police lieutenant Donald Patchin told local media: “It’s always disheartening when somebody in a position of trust, especially at a church, is alleged to have committed a crime especially as heinous as this.”