Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Church stands by accused child molester

OAK HARBOR, Wash. —  [source]:

He’s accused of committing dozens of sex crimes against children, but those who know him are sticking by him.

Investigators said Nathan Martinez, 21, gave a partial confession during which he admitted to some of the crimes they’ve uncovered.

Martinez admitted to molesting three boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13 since June 2007. He had been babysitting the children, whom he had met at his church, at the time.

The allegations are horrendous but members of Martinez’s church, the Living Faith Christian Center, is standing by his side.

“He’s a member and we love him,” said associate pastor Fred Burleson. “And we care for him just as much as we do for any other member. We will continue to do what we can to help him in this troubling part of his life right now.”

Martinez, who told police he himself had been abused as a child for more than a decade, volunteered as a youth counselor at the church, teaching Sunday school and showing kids how to dance.

Some of the alleged victims could be members of the church, police said, but church members aren’t so sure.

“Now see, we don’t know that was his intention to target anyone. So we can’t make that assumption ourselves,” Burleson said.

The Oak Harbor man only admitted to molesting three children, but police have already identified eleven additional victims, not all of whom had been babysat by Martinez.

Police believe further investigation will reveal additional victims. Martinez lived in military housing with his sister, and there are concerns that he may have violated children who live there.

Investigators are urging anyone else with information on the case to come forward.

“It’s critical. Number one, it’s going to help the prosecution and identify any need the child might need, having been victimized by this individual,” said Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace.

Martinez is charged with 30 counts of sex crimes including child rape and child molestation. He’s being held on $250,000 bail.

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August 14, 2008 - Posted by | Rape, Sex Abuse

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