Investigators believe there may be additional child molestation victims of a 20-year-old El Monte man charged with 14 criminal counts, police said Wednesday.
Johnny Beserra III was arrested May 24 in connection with an investigation in which five alleged victims had been identified, according to a news release issued by the El Monte Police Department.
He was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with 14 counts of lewd acts with a child, sodomy and oral copulation, according to police.
The alleged crimes took place at the United Pentecostal Church, where Beserra was a volunteer, or at El Monte Christian Academy, according to police Lt. Christopher Williams.
Investigators were seeking to identify any other minors he might have had inappropriate contact with in the past four years, Williams.
The alleged victims were churchgoers or students at the school, Williams said.
Churchgoers were astonished.
“Very sad … I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it,” said member Laura Tello. “I’m very angry.”
The church and the school are both located at 11129 Brockway St. in El Monte.
“We are concerned there may be more still unidentified victims,” the release stated.
The incidents occurred over a four-year period and involved victims of both genders, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Beserra was charged May 28 with the following felony counts, according to a spokeswoman for the DA’s office: three counts of sodomy by use of force; two counts of sodomy of a person under 18 ; two counts of continuous sexual abuse, two counts oral copulation of a person under 18; and one count each of oral copulation of a person under 14, oral copulation or sexual penetration with child 10 years old or younger, forcible oral copulation with the victim under 14 years old, and lewd act upon a child.
He was also charged with misdemeanor child molesting, the spokeswoman said.
He was being held at the downtown L.A. Men’s Central Jail on $9 million bail, county online inmate records showed.
Beserra was due in Pomona Superior Court Thursday.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Urias at 626-580-2154.