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Ontario youth pastor, iglesia la familia de dios, arrested

Gerardo Custodio Jr, the long-time youth pastor at Ontario’s Iglesia La Familia de Dios, was arrested Sunday January 14, 2017. He is suspected of having sexually abused two minors between 2012 and 2015. 30-year-old Custodio has been a youth pastor there for many years; he had been away from the church while attending college, but had been back since 2011.

According to police reports, both women reported their sexual abuse over this last weekend. One indicated that she was fourteen years old when Custodio abused her between 2012 and 2014 — several times on church property. The other noted that she was fifteen years old when Custodio abused her between 2014 and 2015.

Gerardo Custodio Sr, the youth pastor’s father, is the senior pastor of Iglesia La Familia.

We join the community in giving our thanks to the Ontario Police Department investigating this case. Custodio Jr is being held on bail of $3 million, and is scheduled to appear in Rancho Superior Court.

It is almost never the case that youth pastors, and others in positions of authority at schools, churches and other institutions are virtually never found to have molested children “just once” before they are caught. Therefore, we won’t be surprised if news of the arrest prompts other young survivors from Iglesia La Familia or a church he may have been involved with while at college, to disclose their stories to parents and police, and we are very happy that the authorities will be well-placed to continue the investigation.

If you were molested by this pastor, or if you believe your young relative or friend was molested by him and you are concerned about possible harm, please contact the Ontario police and then reach out to our law firm as well — we are in the Los Angeles area at 445 Figueroa, and our phone is (213) 596-4855. Our clients are young people who have survived having been sexually abused by authority figures like teachers, coaches, camp counselors, foster parents, pastors and priests. We consult, at no charge, with the young survivors and their families. The families that work with us don’t pay for anything up front, not doctors, not lawyers, not any other professionals. We only get paid if we recover money successfully, and we get paid a portion of the successful recovery.

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We have a psychologist and other medical professionals as part of our team. Sexual abuse of children is a complicated category of the law, and our expertise allows us to help our clients and their families navigate through it. 

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