Church leader who worked with kids charged with sexual abuse, California cops say

By Maddie Capron
Sacramento Bee
February 4, 2021

[with audio]

A California church leader is accused of sexually abusing a child for four or five years, officials said.

The Santa Rosa Police Department investigated Drue Mordecai, a 55-year-old Santa Rosa resident and “small group leader” at New Vintage Church, for sexual assault, the department said in a Wednesday news release.

“As a result of the investigation, probable cause was established that the suspect sexually abused a juvenile victim for approximately four to five years,” police said in the release. “The abuse began when the victim was 12 years old.”

Mordecai was one of six volunteers who worked with high school students at the church, police said. Officials are investigating if there are other victims.

“As soon as we found out [about the allegations], we proactively began calling families to make sure children were safe,” Lead Pastor Darren Youngstrom told the police department.

Police said there is no evidence that other instances of sexual abuse happened at New Vintage Church.

Mordecai was arrested Jan. 28 on 12 felony charges, according to police. He was booked in the Sonoma County Jail on $3 million bail.


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