According to 12 News, a pastor at Iglesia Bautista Arcadia Park in Tempe, Arizona, was arrested in connection to the sexual abuse of a child.
Mario Rodriguez-Ramirez, 48-years-old, faces two accusations of sexual abuse with children. The first incident involved an accusation of hugging and kissing a 9-year-old girl after she rode down a park slide.
The second incident involved an alleged assault inside Rodriguez-Ramirez’s car. The victim told the police that he was helping her father with renovations and took her with him to Home Depot. He allegedly parked in the back and sexually assaulted her in the car.
In May of 2020, there was another accusation that resulted in Rodriguez-Ramirez’s arrest. The church he worked at claims to have dismissed him in September.
Rodriguez-Ramirez was arrested on two counts of sexual abuse, sexual conduct with a minor, child molestation, aggravated assault and voyeurism, and indecent exposure. However, he currently faces only one charge of felony sexual conduct with a minor.
Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazan, an experienced sexual assault attorney, represents victims of sexual abuse. Below, Kevin highlighted the legal options of victims sexually abused by a pastor.
"Churches have a legal obligation to protect the members of their congregation. Pastors are trusted and respected by their congregation members, given their high status. Sadly, across the country, we have seen pastors and other clergy members sexually abuse congregation members. Religious organizations must do their best to prevent abuse."
"Victims and their families should acquire an experienced sexual abuse lawyer’s services to explore all their legal options. In some cases, abuse occurs as a result of negligence on behalf of the church and its officials. One example of negligence is if officials were aware of misconduct reports but ignored them. In such cases, the victim’s families should know they may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the church."