Pastor and Son Arrested on Charges of Child Molestation

September 17, 2006

Los Angeles: A Sunland pastor was taken into custody for molesting a parishioner’s three daughters.

On September 14, 2006, at 10 p.m., detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit (SECU) arrested 46-year-old Joseph Gary Torres at his parent’s residence in El Monte. He was arrested for violating Penal Code § 288.5 (A), Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Minor.

The investigation began earlier in the day when a father called to report an allegation that Torres, the pastor at Iglesia Bautista Reformada, had sexually assaulted his daughters. After interviewing the victims, the SECU detectives traced Torres to the El Monte residence.

Torres remains in custody pending a review and filing by the District Attorney’s Office. His bail has been set at $5.4 million.

Because of the nature of the allegations against Torres, investigators believe there may be more victims.

On September 15, 2006, detectives arrested Torres’ son, a minor, for molestation allegations. The minor was released to the custody of his mother. The matter will be submitted to the Juvenile Court.

Anyone having any information regarding Torres is encouraged to contact the Sexually Exploited Child Unit at 213-485-2883. On weekends and during off-hours, please call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL, (1-877-529-3855).

The identities of all callers will remain anonymous.