Hacienda Heights pastor charged with sexual assault of minors
The pastor of a Hacienda Heights church has been charged with sexual assault after he molested multiple girls in incidents dating back to 2000, authorities said.
Jonathan Tsai, 40, pastor of Abundant Life Ministries, was arrested July 21 after a six-month investigation, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said.
Tsai’s accusers are now grown. One woman told authorities that Tsai repeatedly assaulted her from ages 12 to 18. He was her youth pastor at the time.
Three other women reported similar sexual assaults while they were minors, and sheriff’s investigators said there might be others.
“It’s an ongoing investigation,” said Lt. Michael Burse, of the Special Victims Bureau. “We feel there are probably more victims because these are crimes that occurred over a long period of time.”
Tsai faces four charges of lewd acts on a child younger than 14, one count of oral copulation of a minor under 16, and one count of sexual penetration of a minor younger than 16, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. The incidents he’s being charged in occurred beginning in 2000, prosecutors said.
Tsai was released on $1.4-million bond three days after his arrest and was scheduled to return to court Aug. 26.
West Covina police are also investigating Tsai in connection with multiple sexual assault cases.
The Sheriff’s Department is requesting that anyone with information contact the Special Victims Bureau tip line at (877) 710-5273.
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