A Siler City pastor was arrested Saturday and charged with more than 30 counts of child sex abuse.
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SILER CITY — A Siler City pastor who was arrested Saturday and charged with more than 30 counts of child sex abuse now faces additional charges in connection with the sexual abuse of a second child.
Oscar Vera Jimenez, 53, of Siler City was detained Saturday by Siler City Police following a complaint to the department that he was sexually assaulting a juvenile. Upon further investigation, police discovered Jimenez had abused the child on several occasions.
On Thursday, SCPD announced it had obtained new warrants on Jimenez. In addition to his previous charges, Jimenez will be charged with 24 counts of sexual battery, 20 counts of first-degree kidnapping, 24 counts of indecent liberties with a child and one count of common law robbery
The new charges follow the police department's discovery of an additional victim associated with Jimenez's congregation.
The Siler City Police Dept. declined to identify which church Jimenez served, but the Secretary of State lists an Oscar Vera Jimenez as the sole registered agent of Siler City’s Iglesia Pentecostes Espirito Santo. Lieutenant Jason Boyd of the SCPD told the News + Record that police expect more victims to come forward as investigation continues.
“What we’re doing now,” Boyd said, “is we’re following up with anybody, any children, that he may have had contact with. We do anticipate further charges.”
Jimenez was originally charged with 10 counts of first-degree kidnapping, 10 counts of indecent liberties with a child, nine counts of sexual battery and five counts of statutory sex offense with a child. According to Boyd, the charges were all related to crimes within a single month.
“We know 30 from December,” he said. “... It’s distinctly possible that it has been going on for a while with others.”
Jimenez “had access to other juveniles and possible victims,” SCPD said in a release, based on a position of trust in the community that he leveraged to isolate victims.
“It’s just a mess,” Siler City Police Chief Mike Wagner told the News + Record. “And unfortunately we think there will be more (victims). It’s going to be a long, very challenging process.”
Jimenez is being held in the Chatham County Detention Center in lieu of a $250,000 secured bond. The investigation into his crimes is ongoing; Siler City Police request anyone with information about Jimenez or possible victims contact the department.
Reporter D. Lars Dolder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @dldolder.