Anaheim pastor arrested, accused of sexually assaulting minors

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- A pastor was arrested Thursday night following accusations of sexual assault by three female members of his church -- two of them were underage at the time of the alleged crimes.

In a press conference Friday morning, Sgt. Shane Carringer listed the charges 53-year-old Rolando Fuentes faced.

"Multiple counts of lewd acts with a minor, rape, sexual battery, domestic battery and child annoyance," Sgt. Carringer said.

Detectives with the Anaheim Police Department said one victim came to them in November 2019. That case led police to two others.

"There's one victim who was an adult when she disclosed she was victimized and she's obviously still an adult, one victim was a juvenile and still is a juvenile and one victim disclosed assaults that occurred as a juvenile and as an adult," Sgt. Carringer said.

Police said Fuentes used his role at Centro Familia Cristiano Peniel church as a leader to groom his victims.

"There does seem to be a relationship between his trusted position as a pastor in the church and the crimes that he's accused of committing," Sgt. Carringer said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the CFC Peniel several times, but we have not heard back. We stopped by the church. The building on N. State College Boulevard is surrounded by other commercial businesses. Nothing on the outside indicated it was a place of worship.

On the church's website, Fuentes talks about 12 years serving a church alongside his wife where he was the superintendent of Sunday school and a teacher. He describes how they found CFC Peniel in Anaheim in 2008.

According to police, the majority of the congregation at CFC Peniel is made up of Spanish-speaking Guatemalan immigrants.

Detectives worried there were more victims and wanted to send a message out: the Anaheim Police Department is here to protect everyone.

"The Anaheim Police Department is here for you. Our duty is to protect all members of the Anaheim community regardless of race or legal status," Sgt. Carringer said.

Eyewitness News stopped by the pastor's home and we were able to briefly speak with one of his daughters. She didn't want to go on camera, but said she didn't believe the accusations against her father. She described Fuentes as a "good dad" and said "the ultimate justice will come from God."

Fuentes' arraignment is scheduled for Monday. His bail is set at $1 million.
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