A 44-year-old former youth church director has been charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Buena Park, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Edmundo Nevarez, who was the director of youth at the Good Shepherd Family Bible Church in Whittier, faces two felony counts of lewd acts on a child, one misdemeanor count of child annoyance and a special enhancement of substantial sexual conduct with a child, the DA’s office said in a news release. He is set to be arraigned Thursday.
Nevarez, of Pico Rivera, worked at the church from 2002 to 2012 and had access to more than 50 female youth members, officials said. He apparently befriended the victim’s family during that time and is accused of sending her numerous sexually explicit text messages in March of 2015, officials said.
A month later, Nevarez allegedly drove the victim to an empty parking lot in Buena Park and sexually assaulted her.
The victim’s family discovered the text messages and contacted the Buena Park Police Department, who investigated the case, officials said.
Nevarez was eventually arrested but is free on $75,000 bail, officials said. He faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison if convicted.
Prosecutors believe Nevarez may have victimized more girls and anyone who has information about the suspect can call Supervising District Attorney Investigator Mark Gutierrez at 714-347-8794.