Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pastor Anthony Garduno arrested

He calls himself a bishop, that should have been the first warning sign. Defrocked catholic priest turned pastor/bishop Anthony Garduno was arrested Thursday on suspicion of selling meth from his church and sexually abusing a teen.


Anthony Garduno, 51, was arrested Tuesday morning at his Home Gardens church by Riverside County sheriff's investigators after a search of Garduno's church turned up evidence that he was selling methamphetamine there, according to a sheriff's news release.

Sheriff's investigators also found evidence that Garduno, who lived at the church, may have committed sexual assaults there, according to the news release.

The police went after Garduno after a man came forward alleging he had been sexually abused by Garduno while a teen. Police found evidence that suggests there may be more victims. Will Bingham of the Contra Costa times reports that “Sheriff's investigators have urged Garduno's other alleged sexual assault victims to contact them at 951-951-2600.”

Investigators report finding evidence that Garduno engaged in sexual activity in the church, along with evidence that may suggest illicit use of GHB.

Garduno’s alleged victims were Spanish speaking young men. In other cases like this one when minority communities are involved, victims often do not go to report abuse to authorities. This case could get ugly.