Former Pastor Accused of Molesting Children
The Madera County Sheriff's Department is investigating a former Madera children's pastor.
48-year-old Alberto Rodriguez is accused of molesting kids under 14-years of age.
Church Pastor Roger Leach says one of Rodriguez's children came forward in mid-June claiming Rodriguez had sexually abused her. At the time, Rodriguez had been a youth pastor with his wife at Valley West Christian Church in Madera for about two years, Leach said. Leach says he immediately released Rodriguez of his duties and notified law enforcement about the abuse claims.
"You start to rethink and you go... you start to think... Did you notice anything? Did you see anything?" said Leach.
Since the initial allegation, four more people have come forward claiming sexual abuse against Rodriguez, said Madera County Sheriff John Anderson. All of the reported victims are female and were under the age of 14 when the alleged abuse occurred, said Anderson.
Rodriguez was arrested in Madera County in early October.
According to a press release sent out by the Sheriff's Department, investigators believe the alleged abuse dates back as far as 20 years. Many of Rodriguez's victims were reportedly under his care through the foster care system, the press release stated.
"These kinds of things just seem to go on and on and on and on. And if he's doing it now, was he doing it 5 years ago? 10 years ago? Those kings of things. And if that's the case, he certainly should be brought to justice on those, too," said Anderson.
Rodriguez has three adopted children and five foster children, Leach said.
Leach says he's not aware of any victims from the church. Rodriguez and his family still attend the church and are currently going through counseling, Leach said.
No one could be reached for comment at Rodriguez's home on Monday Afternoon.
The County Department of Social Services does not comment on individual cases, said Director Kelly Woodard.
Investigators are asking for anyone with information about the case to contact the Madera County Sheriff's Department at (559) 675-7770.