Arizona pastor Jose Morales has been arrested on multiple charges related to child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor. According to his alleged victims, Pastor Morales sexually assaulted them individually over the course of years and collectively for three decades. In one case, the 49-year-old Arizona pastor is even accused of dating a victim beginning at the age of 8, “marrying” her illegally in Mexico when she was 10 years old and then impregnating her at age 13.
As Arizona Central reports, Arizona pastor Jose Morales has been in Arizona since 1986, when he was 19 years old.
The investigation into the alleged perpetual child molestation and sexual assault perpetuated by pastor Jose Morales indicates that, while in a position of trust and authority, he molested and/or sexually assaulted at least five victims over the course of 30 years.
Reportedly, the alleged abuse perpetuated by Arizona pastor Jose Morales was brought to the attention of Phoenix authorities by the mother of one of the alleged molestation victims, an unidentified girl who is now 17 years old. According to the girl’s mother, she realized that her daughter had been engaging in disturbing self-harm practices. When she confronted the 17-year-old about her behavior, her daughter reportedly told her about the abuse she’d allegedly endured at the hands of Pastor Morales five years prior.
Law enforcement confronted the Arizona pastor at his Phoenix home after following up on the mother’s allegations. It was then that Pastor Jose Morales’ unthinkable pattern of alleged abuse was uncovered by authorities, reports the Daily Mail. The investigation into the alleged child sex abuse-related crimes that took place at the hands of Pastor Morales is reportedly ongoing.
Reportedly, when the Arizona pastor moved to the state in 1986, he was already in a dating-type “relationship” with one of the alleged victims, an 8-year-old girl. This was the same girl that he took to Mexico and “married” when she was only 10. Roughly three years later, when his victim was only 13, Arizona pastor Jose Morales is believed to have gotten her pregnant.
The 17-year-old victim, whose reported self-harm was the catalyst for the charges against the Arizona pastor, has told authorities that Jose Morales sexually assaulted her when she was just 12. It is unclear whether or not that sexual assault was an isolated incident or if the girl endured a pattern of abuse. The 17-year-old alleged victim of Jose Morales was reportedly a member of the pastor’s church.
@FFRF Gives a whole new meaning of wolf in sheeps clothing.— Danial Kelley (@DaveRivers1) September 16, 2016
Another alleged victim of the Arizona pastor reportedly told police investigating the man’s alleged crimes that he had sexually molested and abused her repeatedly between the ages of 7 and 12. Like the first alleged victim of Pastor Morales, this girl was a member of his congregation. Perhaps even more disturbingly, the girl’s mother told law enforcement that Arizona pastor Jose Morales had also sexually abused her when she had been a young girl between the ages of 10 and 11.
Currently, Jose Morales is being held on two charges, one count of child molestation and one count of sexual conduct with a minor. It is highly probable that the Arizona pastor could be facing other charges as a result of the investigation into his sexual behavior.
Pastor Morales is (or was) the pastor of a small Arizona Christian church with a largely Latino congregation. That church, Iglesia Cristiana Impacto de Fe, has been shuttered since its pastor was arrested on September 9 and the plethora of allegations against Morales was made public.
In addition to facing allegations of molesting at least four children, investigators are also looking into the claims of one teenage adult who claims that the Arizona pastor also sexually assaulted her. That alleged victim, also a member of his church, is just 18 years old, and she claims that Jose Morales repeatedly came to her home to sexually assault her.
At this time, the Arizona pastor is denying all allegations of sexual molestation and improper sexual conduct that have been levied against him. He told law enforcement that he did have a sexual relationship with the 18-year-old in question, but he claims that the sex was consensual.
He unequivocally denies having molested any children.
Arizona pastor Jose Morales is currently being held at the Maricopa County Jail and has been denied bail.
[Featured Image by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department]