Associate pastor of the Las Buenas Nuevas Church in Norwalk was arrested last Friday, September 13th, on suspicion of sexual assault. According to the allegations made against him, J.J. Castro (age 53) spent his 8 years working as an associate pastor of the Norwalk church doing much more than just his religious duties. More than 20 female parishioners of the church have come forward with claims of sexually explicit acts conducted by Castro, who reportedly described his actions as nothing more than a way to use his “healing hands.”
Reports from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Captain state that the pastor repeatedly sexually assaulted many female parishioners of the church, consoling the women by telling them that they were part of a “faith-healing process.” Allegations also suggest that Castro threatened many of the women to remain silent about their sexual abuse or he would see to it that they were deported.
The primarily Spanish-speaking population of females who were sexually assaulted by the pastor range in age from 18 to 39. The alleged crimes stretch across 8 years, beginning in October of 2004 and finally ending in September of 2012. Upon learning of the pastor’s indiscretions, church leaders helped play an integral role in removing Castro from the religious facility. Now, Castro faces 6 felony counts of sexual assault (a number that is expected to rise), including charges of rape, oral copulation, and penetration by a foreign object.
Castro has already made one appearance in court since his arrest, and he is now being held in lieu of a $2-million bail. The term that Castro spent working at a local church in Moreno Valley is also under investigation. Authorities have expressed their suspicions that more female victims of Castro are out there and have yet to come forward. To these women, the L.A. County Sheriff would like to send the message that they have nothing to fear by coming forward.
If you or someone you love were the victim of sexually inappropriate conduct from a clergy member, please don’t wait to speak with a California sexual abuse attorney at our office. The Senators Firm is committed to helping you seek justice, just as we have done for a number of our past clients. To learn more about how we can help at this time, you can contact us toll-free at (949) 557-5800.