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Texas Church Officials Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges

Two Carrollton, Texas, church officials were arrested and taken into custody last week in connection with the 2018 sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. 

Luis Escobar, 59, who taught online church classes for adults at Ministerios Bethania USA, and Alvaro Jimenez, 71, an office assistant, face charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. 

Both men were reported to be living at the church, but the alleged assault did not happen on church property, officials said.

Police obtained a warrant for the men’s arrest after the victim, now 18, told a school counselor she had been sexually assaulted by Escobar and Jimenez when she was 14. 

In a statement on its website, the church acknowledged the arrest and said it is believed there are other victims. The statement asked anyone with more information to come forward. 

“Our thoughts and prayers go first to the victim and her family who have suffered and have had the courage to speak out,” the statement said. “We pray that God may grant them comfort and consolation with justice.”

The church said it is leaving the investigation in the hands of the Carrollton Police Department. 

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Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.