East Bay Minister Charged with 23 Counts of Sexually Abusing Teen Girl
By Katrina Cameron
April 26, 2016
An East Bay minister was charged with 23 counts of sexually abusing a teenage girl over a three-year period, police said.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office charged Fernando Maldonado, 35, of Concord, on Monday, said Martinez police detective Sgt. Dave Mathers. He has been charged with lewd acts with a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and sodomy of a minor.
The alleged victim is now 17, police said Saturday. They have not released the girl's city of residence.
The investigation began when the victim reported the alleged abuse April 18 to Martinez police, the agency leading the investigation. The abuse began when Maldonado was a minister and the victim was a parishioner at Morello Avenue Baptist Church in Martinez, police said.
Maldonado is a former resident of Martinez. Morello Avenue Baptist Church has since been shut down, Mathers said. Maldonado left that church to become a minister at Grace Bible Church in Pleasant Hill in 2014, where the victim began attending the church and the abuse continued, police said.
The assaults on her reportedly occurred from 2012 through 2015 in Concord, Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Police served several search warrants in those cities after Maldonado was arrested Thursday morning at his Concord home.
The Martinez Police Department became involved when the girl called the agency.
Maldonado is being held at County Jail in Martinez in lieu of $1.295 million bail, Mathers said.
Anyone with information about this case, or similar allegations related to Maldonado, is asked to contact Detective Tyrone Wah at 925-372-2453.
Rowena Coetsee contributed to this report. Contact Katrina Cameron at 925-945-4782. Follow her at Twitter.com/KatCameron91.