19-year-old arrested for sexual incidents with young teen girls at church

Alachua Chronicle [Alachua County, FL]

July 19, 2023

By Alachua staff reporter

Christian David Vargas, 19, of High Springs, was arrested yesterday and charged with lewd or lascivious battery on a victim under 16 and lewd or lascivious conduct by an adult in two separate cases that both reportedly occurred at Ignite Life Center.

The first case involved a victim who was 12 years old when the incidents began in 2020 and 13 years old when they stopped in 2021; the victim said she had intercourse with Vargas at least three times. The victim reportedly told a Gainesville Police Department officer that the incidents occurred at Ignite Life Center, 404 NW 13th Avenue, and that Vargas repeatedly pressured her to have intercourse until she gave in. Vargas was 16 years old when the incidents began.

The second case involved a victim who was 14 years old and reportedly began when Vargas was 17, in February or March of 2022. The victim said Vargas repeatedly asked her to have sexual intercourse and said he could have intercourse with her because he was 17, but he would get in trouble once he was 18. She said she interpreted this as pressure to have intercourse with him at the church.

The victim said Vargas once asked her to meet him in a special room at the church and that he told her it’s normal for teenagers to have sex and they could “move slow.” She said she was scared of Vargas and lied that she heard someone coming so she could get away from him and leave the room.

The victim said Vargas continued to pressure her to have intercourse after he turned 18 but said she could not tell anyone. She said that although he “continually” pressured her, she never had intercourse with him.

Post Miranda, Vargas reportedly admitted that he had dated the first victim when she was 12 and he was 16 and that he met with her six or seven times in a private area of the church called the “furnace.” He reportedly admitted kissing her and having conversations about sexual intercourse, but he denied having sexual intercourse with her.

Vargas reportedly admitted he had met with the second victim in the area called the “furnace” and that they both unbuttoned their clothing but did not have intercourse.

Vargas has no local adult criminal history; bail information is unavailable.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.