A man who formerly served as a principal and youth leader at a baptist parish in Wildomar was extradited to California this week to face charges he sexually assaulted a girl in the ’90s.
Laverne Paul Fox, 60, was arrested in Pennsylvania following an investigation that was sparked by claims against a second youth pastor at Wildomar’s Faith Baptist Church, Malo “Victor” Montiero, Riverside County sheriff’s officials said in a news release.
Montiero was arrested in July 2018 on allegations he had sexually assaulted several victims between 1999 and 2017.
Months later, he admitted to seven counts of sex abuse involving three teen girls and was sentenced to five years in prison, according to the Press-Enterprise.
Fox’s alleged victim, Kathy Durbin, said in a Facebook post last year that Montiero is her brother-in-law, and she came forward with her story after one of Montiero’s victims approached her.
“It’s been a secret I’ve kept for twenty-eight long years,” Durbin wrote. “I didn’t bring this back into my life again; it was brought up because it was used in the commission of a crime.”
Durbin claims Montiero used the church’s coverup of her abuse — which officials say occurred in 1991 and 1992 — and knowledge of the pain it caused to coerce his victims into silence.
According to both Durbin and a damning Fort Worth Star-Telegram investigation into handling of abuse claims across First Baptist’s national network, Durbin told her church’s leader of Fox’s crimes but they were never reported to police.
Instead, Pastor Bruce Goddard allegedly ordered Fox to pack up and leave the state.
Durbin said she was 15 when she and her family started attending First Baptist, and they formed a relationship with Fox’s family.
“I was very close to Paul and his wife and their two boys,” she wrote. “My family and the Fox family spent lots of time together. I loved them like parents, and at one point, they called me the daughter they didn’t have.”
At first she saw Fox as her “adopted dad,” but things changed after he gifted her “the skimpiest pair of panties (she) had ever seen” then began to ask her if she was wearing them, Durbin wrote.
She alleges a sexual relationship began shortly after that.
“I didn’t like it,” Durbin said. “I felt awkward and it was uncomfortable and gross. It was never enjoyable, as it was so emotionally confusing. I was fifteen and in love with him as a daughter. I was emotionally his little girl, and so I let him have what he wanted to keep this father-daughter relationship going. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, it’s very clear that he had groomed me.”
Fox was extradited back to California Monday and booked on several felony charges related to sexual assault on children, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The Press-Enterprise reports that he bailed out Tuesday and is scheduled to be arraigned in the case on Oct. 2.