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Authorities seek leads in alleged 1993 sex assault at San Clemente church

March 23, 2011 |  5:11 pm

Joe Nelms Authorities in Orange County were seeking the public's help Wednesday in identifying possible victims of a former youth pastor charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at his parish in 1993.

Joe David Nelms, 47, has been charged with eight felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 stemming from his tenure at the Pacific Coast Church in San Clemente, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Nelms, who was 29 at the time, allegedly assaulted the girl in the church and in a vehicle, prosecutors said. The victim reported the alleged crime earlier this year at the urging of a friend.

Nelms had moved to Texas and was arrested there last week. He was awaiting extradition to California.

Evidence indicates that Nelms may have victimized others, according to the district attorney's office. Anyone with information is asked to call Supervising Investigator Lou Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794.


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Photo: Joe David Nelms. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office