Annapolis Church Van Driver Charged with Sexual Abuse
A church van driver in Annapolis has been arrested on 19 sex crimes charges for allegedly sexually abusing a girl who he met through his position multiple times.
Annapolis police were contacted on January 5 by a 13-year-old girl and her family, who told police that the girl had been sexually assaulted on Juliana Circle West in Annapolis.
The suspect, 44-year-old Jose Argueta, is accused of sexually abusing the girl four times since mid-December. He was arrested on January 9 and is being held without bond.
According to the police, Argueta met the girl while driving the church transportation van. He then began texted her and arranged meetups, when he sexually assaulted her. Police also say they found pornographic images of the girl on his phone.
The authorities have not identified the name of the church, but police have reached out to the organization so that parishioners could be notified of these allegations.
The Annapolis Police Department has encouraged anyone with information on this case to contact Detective Pyles at 410-260-3439.
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Legal Recourse For Victims of Sexual Abuse by Church Employees
As a former sex crimes prosecutor, Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com sex abuse victims and their families find justice in criminal courts. Today, Brian represents victims directly in civil lawsuits. Here are some of his thoughts on the legal rights of those who have been sexually abused by church employees:
Churches and other organizations that work with children have a legal duty to make sure those children are safe from all forms of abuse. Sadly, many religious organizations have serious issues with clergy members and other employees sexually abusing child parishioners. Adequate safeguards must be in place for reducing the risk of abuse as much as possible.
When a child is sexually abused by a church employee, it’s important to investigate the church for negligence. Some of these cases are preventable and may not have happened if it weren’t for negligence by the church, such as failing to run background checks before hiring new employees. In cases where negligence is found to have been a factor, church sex abuse victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
If you or your child is a survivor of church sex abuse, you can learn more about your family’s legal rights by calling our experienced sex abuse victims lawyers for a free consultation.
Juliana Circle West in Annapolis, MD
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