MORGAN HILL, Calif. - A 65-year-old pastor in Morgan Hill is facing more than a dozen child sexual assault charges.
On Oct. 27, Pastor Carlos Ramos Castrejon, of Hollister, was taken into custody on suspicion of 13 counts of lewd or lascivious acts with minors and two counts of committing a lewd act by use of force on a child, police said.
"Spiritual leaders in our community hold an incredible amount of trust. And this person took advantage of that trust, and prayed on already vulnerable victims, children," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Marina Mankaryous.
Castrejon, who lives in Hollister, is a pastor at Ministerios Generacion Josue located on Butterfield Boulevard.
Prosecutors said over the course of four years, Castrejon used his authority to molest four children. The victim’s range in age, from seven to 14 years old.
Some victims recently reported the crimes, which led to his arrest last week.
"Clearly there was a pattern of abuse towards children," said Laura Palumbo, a spokeswoman with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "Any form of sexual abuse, it’s a very complex form of trauma, especially when abuse happens over again, and over a period of time."
Bail was denied for Castrejon and he remains at Santa Clara County Jail until his plea hearing.
Prosecutors contend that Castrejon committed the alleged crimes and he should spend the maximum amount of time behind bars.
"When someone does have that position of trust, and does have that position in the community, we’re always concerned that they may have prayed upon other victims," said Mankaryous.
The district attorney’s office said officials are willing to set up interviews with anyone who comes forward with more information about these four cases detailed in the criminal complaint, or any unrelated allegations.