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[UPDATE] Norwalk Resident, Associate Pastor Jorge Juan Castro Arrested On Sexual Abuse Charges

 Las Buenas Nuevas Church Associate Pastor Castro.

Las Buenas Nuevas Church Associate Pastor Castro.

Update: Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper spoke to a female employee at Las Buenas Nuevas Church in Norwalk on Thursday afternoon who claimed that Jorge Juan Castro was “not an associate pastor at the church.”  The employee did not want to be identified referred all questions about the case to members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  The employee would not elaborate of Castro and his relationship with the small neighborhood church.

By Brian Hews

(Norwalk) A Norwalk associate pastor has been arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives for the alleged sexual abuse of numerous female parishioners.

Details of the arrest of suspect Jorge Juan Castro, who is also a resident of Norwalk emerged on Thursday in a press statement by law enforcement officials.

“Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau detectives received information that from October 2004 through September 2012, adult women of the Las Buenas Nuevas Church in Norwalk were victims of sexual assaults committed by a suspect,” said Sergeant Al Garcia and Captain R. Esson from the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.

“The suspect (Castro) in these crimes was identified by the victims as an associate pastor and counselor at the church. The suspect moved to the Los Angeles area from Argentina in 2004,” a statement from the Sheriff’s department stressed.

“Many of the victims are Spanish-speaking undocumented immigrants. The suspect allegedly preyed upon the victims’ vulnerability. He did this by invoking fear by threatening to tell the victims if they reported him he would have the victims deported, while additionally threatening to expose the victims to public embarrassment and ridicule,” Sgt. Garcia said.

The information came to deputies attention when over 20 women ranging from age 18 to 39 implicated the suspect to a third party. That person contacted sheriff’s deputies.

“On September 13, 2013, working with the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau lead investigator, detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau/Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, located and arrested 53-year old Castro, a resident of Norwalk. He was arrested at his Norwalk home. The suspect is also an associate pastor at a church in Riverside County, so authorities there have been notified of this arrest. There are no known victims in Riverside County,” the statement read.

The suspect was booked on an arrest warrant for six felony California Penal Code charges of Rape (261(a) (2) P.C.), Oral Copulation (288a(a) (c)(2) P.C.), and Penetration by a foreign object, (289(a)(1)(A) P.C.) The suspect remains in custody in the Los Angeles County jail with bail set at $2,000,000.00.

Special Victims Bureau detectives are requesting the public’s help. If you or anyone you know has information or needs assistance in connection with this investigation, please contact Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau detectives at (877) 710-5273 (LASD) or email [email protected] SE HABLA ESPAñOL. Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website lacrimestoppers.org

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