FOX 13 News has reported that a man was arrested for sexually abusing children in his care while a pastor of Grace Church of the Nazarene located at 3711 W Wallace Ave, Tampa, FL 33611.
According to the Tampa Police Department, the 81-year-old Tampa pastor has been charged with assaulting minors he took in as foster children. Castellano-Mojicawas is the pastor of Grace Church of the Nazarene, which is operated out of his residence on Wallace Avenue, according to public records.
The Department of Children and Families informed Tampa police on February 14 that a 7-year-old girl had been sexually abused allegedly by Castellano-Mojicawas. After the accusations, the Tampa Police launched an investigation that led to them discovering two more victims: a 7-year-old girl and a 28-year-old woman who claimed she was molested by Castellano-Mojicawas when she was only 11 years old.
Castellano-Mojicawas has been charged with lewd and lascivious molestation, sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation, and sexual battery.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard defends church sex abuse victims and other sexual abuse victims in civil suits. As an experienced clergy sexual abuse lawyer, Michael has offered to share some of his knowledge about the legal rights of victims of clergy sex abuse.
"Sexual predators are frequently found in positions of trust, such as pastors and other religious clergy members. Across the various religions and faiths, there have been several accusations of clergy members sexually assaulting people. It is the duty of the church to protect those within the congregation or in the care of the clergy. Background checks should ensure to reduce the risk of predators seeking these positions."
"When a pastor is suspected of sexually abusing minors, a comprehensive investigation is essential for obtaining legal justice. The church should be probed for alleged negligence, and police should conduct a criminal investigation of the accused. Some occurrences of sex abuse occur merely as the result of third-party negligence - for example, the church or organizations in charge of regulating the clergy. Failure to do so can lead to the organization being held liable."
"Victims of sexual abuse should seek the guidance of an experienced sexual abuse attorney. An attorney can offer compassionate legal aid that could result in compensation for the victims."