Local Youth Pastor Charged with Multiple Counts of Sexual Abuse of Minors
By Gina Kim
April 1, 2016
A local youth pastor and coach has been charged with seven felony counts of sex crimes with a minor female, as well as using force to dissuade his wife from reporting his alleged actions to authorities, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.
Daniel James Moreno, 25, was arrested at an undisclosed location at 12:40 a.m. Monday in Santa Maria.
Authorities allege Moreno attempted to prevent his wife Katrina Moreno, a witness to the suspected crimes, from making a report to authorities, according to a felony complaint filed against him Wednesday by the District Attorney’s Office.
The victims are identified only as "Jane Doe" due to their ages.
Moreno is facing charges of aggravated sexual assault, sodomy of a child older than seven and younger than 14, as well as continuous sexual abuse.
Prosecutors allege the incidents happened at least three or more times while the “defendant resided with or had recurring access to the child.”
He also has been charged with lewd or lascivious acts against a child, such as touching breasts and genitals, sexual intercourse and "dry humping" a child, according to the complaint.
The seven felony counts are alleged to have occurred on or between Sept. 1, 2015, and March 28, 2016.
Moreno is also facing one count of unlawful sex with a minor, which prosecutors allege occurred between March 27 and 28. The female victim is 13.
Moreno is is being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail and is due to appear in Superior Court in Santa Maria at 8:30 a.m. April 5 for arraignment. His bail has been set at $350,000.
According to Facebook accounts for the defendant and his wife, the couple have two children, a son and a daughter. Moreno is a graduate of Santa Maria High School.
Moreno's personal Facebook page has been taken down since his arrest.