Police say a 24-year-old man used his position in a church to rape a 14-year-old girl multiple times over the course of the past year.
Wilfredo Flores was arrested at the girl's home Tuesday, but the alleged relationship began at church.
Flores is a youth pastor in the local Hispanic community, and police say he used that position of power to take advantage of the young girl.
The victim told police she was home alone, taking a shower with headphones on Tuesday afternoon when Flores suddenly appeared. She said she accidentally left the door unlocked after checking the mail.
Police say Flores had been sitting in his car across the street, waiting for the right moment to go inside.
“He had been told not to come to the residence,” said MSgt. Gary Knight. “As soon as the victim’s mother left, he apparently came over to the residence, forced his way inside and refused to leave when the girl told him to leave.”
What happened next is still unclear, but police say Flores was interrupted when the girl's mother came home for lunch.
Knight said, “When the mother arrived home, he was there. Officers found him hiding in a closet. He had a blanket thrown over him trying to conceal himself.”
Flores reportedly came to the home on the pretense of giving the girl a flash drive for a church project they were working on.
The victim told officers that Flores first raped her last September, when she was just 13. The youth pastor has reportedly been texting and calling the girl up to 20 times a day ever since, and has been tracking her location through Snapchat.
The victim also reported that Flores groped her on a church outing three months ago, which she says she physically rejected.
Police say it does not matter if the relationship was consensual or not. “It’s certainly something our investigators will look at,” said Knight, “but in the end a 13-year-old does not have the ability to give consent to have a sexual relationship.”
Flores was booked on two counts of rape, but the district attorney may file additional charges.