Police are seeking possible additional victims after arresting a Baldwin Park pastor earlier this month on suspicion of molesting a teenage church member, authorities said Tuesday.
Edgar Fabian Martinez, 50, was arrested April 10 in connection with the alleged abuse, according to the Baldwin Park Police Department and Los Angeles County booking records.
Martinez served as a pastor at Iglesia De Jesucristo un Neuvo Pacto in Baldwin Park, police said in a written statement.
The alleged crimes took place in 2018 and 2019, according to police and Los Angeles County Superior Court records. Police said the alleged victim was a 15-year-old girl who was a member of the church.
Martinez pleaded not guilty to eight charges when he appeared in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 12.
The charges include child molestation; unlawful sex with a minor, child molestation by force, violence or duress; contacting a minor for the purpose of committing a sex crime; and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, court records show.
Martinez’s bail was set at $240,000, according to county booking records. He’s schedule to return to court for a hearing on May 2.
“Baldwin Park police detectives believe Edgar Martinez may have used other church facilities to hold services and that there may be additional victims,” according to the police statement.
A second man was arrested the same day as Martinez and faces two charges in connection with the same case.
Julio Espinoza Rodas, 36, has denied charges of sending harmful matter to a minor and contacting or attempting to contact a minor for the purpose of committing a sex crime, court records show. Further details regarding the allegations against Rodas were not available Tuesday evening. Rodas was released on a bond pending court proceedings.
Anyone with information was urged to contact Detective T. Leon at 626-960-1955, ext. 414 or Detective Carmen Chice at 626-960-1955, ext. 439. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.