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Friday, September 22, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor charged with molesting two girls

Los Angeles CA — A pastor was charged Monday with multiple counts of sexually abusing two girls who attended his church in the San Fernando Valley, prosecutors said.

Joseph Gary Torres, 46, was ordered held on $2 million bail during an initial court appearance Monday, the district attorney's office said in a statement. He was arrested Thursday.

He allegedly met the girls at his Sunland church, Iglesia Bautista Reformada, which is Spanish for Reformed Baptist Church.

A call to the church seeking comment late Monday was not immediately returned.

Prosecutors contend he molested a 12-year-old girl several times from July to August last year. They claim he molested a 14-year-old girl from July 2005 to last month.

Torres was charged with 11 counts, including continuous sexual abuse, sexual penetration by a foreign object, sodomy by force, committing lewd act upon a child and oral copulation.

He faces up to 30 years in state prison if convicted of all counts.

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Pastor, son arrested for alleged sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES — A pastor and his teenage son were arrested for investigation of sexually abusing three daughters of a member of the congregation, authorities said.

Josephy Gary Torres, 46, of Los Angeles, was arrested Thursday in El Monte, said police Officer Mike Lopez. Torres' son, whose name wasn't released because he is a juvenile, was detained Friday and later released into his mother's custody, Lopez said.

Torres is the pastor of Iglesia Bautista Reformada in Sunland, north of downtown Los Angeles. Police said the father of the three girls recently told authorities about the alleged molestations.

Torres is being held on $5.4 million bail.

Police believe there may be additional victims, but no other information was immediately available.

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