Fugitive Santeria Priest Claims Sexual Assault on Child Was Part of Healing Ritual: Montebello Police

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A man known as a Santeria priest was being sought Wednesday after allegedly sexually assaulting a girl in Montebello during what he claimed were healing rituals, police said.

An undated photo of Pablo Pinto Mata was release by the Montebello Police Department.

An undated photo of Pablo Pinto Mata was release by the Montebello Police Department.

Pablo Pinto Mata conducted the rituals at his import business on W. Whittier Boulevard, according to a new release from the Montebello Police Department.

In late 2013, Mata allegedly conducted three healing rituals on a 16-year-old girl during which he had her disrobe.

On the last visit, Mata was accused of sexually assaulting her, while claiming it was part of the healing ritual, the release stated.

Police believe Mata used the healing rituals as a ploy to assault the teenager, and believe he may have other victims.

Anyone who may have been victimized or has information about Mata’s whereabouts was asked to call the Montebello Police Department.