Los Angeles County

Pastor Arrested in Sexual Assault of Teen Girl

A 57-year-old youth pastor at a baptist church in Santa Ana was arrested in connection with the rape of a 13-year-old girl in a restroom during services, police said.

Jonathan Lamont Jenkins, of Riverside, was arrested Tuesday as he walked out of a liquor store in Santa Ana, officials said. He was booked into jail on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child, Santa Ana police said in a news release.

He had been a youth pastor for the last two years and a member since 2012 of the Starlight Baptist Church, at 1201 W. Second Street in Santa Ana, police said. The girl reported that he had been making sexual advances toward her since January.

In March, the girl was attending service when she went to what she thought was an empty bathroom. Jenkins was inside waiting for the victim, police said. The girl tried to escape, but Jenkins allegedly threatened violence, then choked and sexually assaulted her, officials said. The girl didn't immediately report the assault and continued attending church.

In August, Jenkins allegedly mocked her about the assault and told her that if she reported it, he would say that she allowed the sexual assault to occur, officials said. The girl eventually told church members and she then told police what happened, police said.

Contact Us