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L.A. church pastor arrested for child assault

September 10, 2010 12:57:59 AM PDT
A church pastor from Carson was arrested on Thursday, accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old female member of his congregation .Police took 45-year-old Leonel Pelayo into custody at about 1 p.m. He allegedly befriended the victim in a church youth group, and then took her to several vacant locations where he sexually assaulted her.

Pelayo, a pastor at Iglesia Apostolica Monte de Horeb in South Los Angeles, allegedly had relations with the teen between July 1 and Aug. 20.

Pelayo owns several properties throughout the L.A. area, and he possibly used some of those locations to commit the alleged crimes, according to LAPD Capt. Fabian Lizarraga.

Pelayo has been charged with six felony counts, including lewd act upon a child and unlawful sexual intercourse. He is free after posting $140,000 bail.

If convicted, he faces up to four years and four months in prison.

Detectives believe there may be additional victims. Anyone with information is urged to call police at (877) LAPD-24-7.

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