Friday, November 27, 2009

Youth Pastor Erick Mendoza pleaded not guilty

EricMendoza Youth Pastor Erick Valasquez Mendoza pleaded not guilty to six counts of lewd acts against a child and five counts of forcible lewd acts with a child under the age of 14. Mendoza was arrested Monday after allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl. Medoza worked at Iglesia Pentecostal Nueva Vida Church in Salinas. The victim was a member of the youth group. The police are looking for more victims.

After the Monday arrest of 20-year-old Erick Mendoza, a youth leader at the Iglesia Pentecostal Nueva Vida Church for about a year, police say they are now investigating whether others were sexually assaulted.

"The fact this guy was there for a year, we have to check if there are other victims," Salinas police Officer Lalo Villegas said.

If you have information please contact the Salinas Police Department’s Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222, or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-78-CRIME, or text information to the Text Tip Line with the code "SPD831" to "847411", or contact the Salinas Police Department.

I’ll ask my usual question here. How does a 20-year-old become a youth pastor with unrestricted access to children? It boggles my mind.