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Anaheim pastor arrested on molestation charges

September 28, 2009 |  3:20 pm

An Orange County pastor accused of molesting several underage girls is in custody and Anaheim police are asking other potential victims to come forward, authorities said today.

Jose Campoverde, 45, pastor of Ministerio Cristo Vive church in Anaheim, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of lewd conduct with a minor, sexual battery, child annoyance and false imprisonment involving four girls under age 17, said Sgt. Rick Martinez.

Detectives began investigating Campoverde after a 17-year-old girl came to Anaheim police in early September. The victim told police Campoverde offered to give her a ride while she was waiting at a bus stop and then touched her inappropriately and tried to kiss her.

Detectives learned of three other alleged victims between the ages of 13 and 17, Martinez said. Most of the incidents took place in the suspect’s car or in rooms at the storefront church, he said.

Campoverde has been a pastor at the church, located in the 400 block of South Euclid Street, for about nine years, Martinez said. He is being held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

-- Paloma Esquivel in Orange County