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California

Santa Ana church youth leader accused of sexually assaulting two girls

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Jesse Francisco Hernandez Perez, 22, of Anaheim was arrested by Santa Ana police detectives Wednesday on multiple child abuse charges, authorities said.

A 22-year-old church youth group leader was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexually assaulting two girls who attended the Santa Ana church where he was affiliated, police said.

Jesse Francisco Hernandez Perez, 22, of Anaheim was arrested by Santa Ana police detectives Wednesday and booked into the Orange County Jail on multiple child abuse charges, authorities said. The district attorney’s office is recommending $1-million bail for Perez.

A 14-year-old girl told investigators last month she was sexually assaulted by Perez when she was at his home for a youth program with the Iglesia de Restauracion in Santa Ana, police said.

Another girl, 11, said Perez sexually assaulted her in a church restroom after communicating with her during services on March 5, police said.

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Authorities think there may be additional victims and are asking anyone with information to contact Det. Johanna Perez at (714) 245-8351 or jperez5@santa-ana.org, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227.

javier.panzar@latimes.com

@jpanzar


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