Stanton pastor defied court order, police say

Times Staff Writer

A Stanton pastor about to go on trial on charges of having unlawful sex with a 16-year-old parishioner has been rearrested on suspicion of violating a court protective order by seeing her twice while out on bail, authorities said Friday.

Ronald Hernandez Tova, 57, is accused of meeting the girl, now 17, at a bus stop in July and in a church parking lot earlier this week, said Drew Haughton, a deputy district attorney prosecuting the case.

“It’s pretty outrageous conduct,” Haughton said. “He continues to show complete disregard for the authority of law.”


Tova, a pastor at Shadow of the Almighty church, is scheduled to begin trial Dec. 24 on suspicion of having unlawful sex with the girl on multiple occasions, including in his church office, between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2006. He was released in October of last year after posting $100,000 bail.

In July, Haughton said, a friend of the victim’s mother saw Tova, who is married, and the girl at a bus stop.

She told police, who put him under surveillance.

On Tuesday, authorities said, officers followed Tova to a church parking lot in Montclair, where he allegedly met the girl and drove her home.

Authorities said they have no evidence of any new sexual contact between the girl and Tova, who was arrested at the scene.

On Friday, authorities charged him with violating the court order, a misdemeanor, and raised his bail to $750,000.

If convicted of all the charges, Tova would face nearly six years in jail.