According to The Sun, a church youth leader from Azusa was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old in Angelus Oak, California.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department began an investigation of 61-year-old Marciano Cuellar on June 12, 2022. Cuellar is suspected of having an inappropriate relationship with the minor. He was arrested on Friday, July 15, 2022, and charged with a misdemeanor count of annoying and molesting a child.
Cuellar lives in Azusa but works with children as a youth leader at a church said to be located in Glendora. Due to his regular access to minors, investigators are concerned there may be additional victims.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson is an experienced lawyer for church sexual abuse. He represents sex abuse victims and their families in lawsuits seeking to hold all parties accountable. During a recent discussion, Bobby offered some information regarding when victims sexually abused by youth pastors can file a civil lawsuit.
"Reports of sexual predators inside religious organizations are becoming increasingly frequent. Predators often take up positions of trust, including working as youth pastors where they have access to children."
"Churches have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure their congregation's safety. When a church fails to offer security to its members, it can be held responsible for the abuse that may occur. Conducting background checks on all clergy, having security cameras within the property, and reporting any misconduct are just a few examples of basic security measures that could reduce the risk of preventable abuse."
"A thorough investigation is necessary if a pastor is accused of sexual abuse. In addition to the criminal investigation, the church should be investigated for any chance of carelessness. Some church sex abuse occurs because of church carelessness. Failure to conduct background checks or ignoring reports of inappropriate behavior can result in this. Church sex abuse victims may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit in third-party negligence cases. The legal process for filing a lawsuit for sexual abuse at church can be daunting, but with the help of an experienced church sex abuse attorney, victims can get the justice they rightfully deserve."