U.S. pastor accused of sex assault on minor turns himself in

Pastor Turns Himself in After Being Named Person of Interest in Sexual Assault of Minor at Covina Hotel: Police

A pastor from a Glendale church turned himself in to police Sunday and later bailed out after authorities said he was caught on camera masturbating outside a Covina hotel before then assaulting a preteen girl.

Police allege Rivera arrived at the motel shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday and parked his pickup truck facing the open window of a motel room occupied by two girls between 10 and 13 years old, who were visiting the US on a school trip from Hangzhou, China.

The 40-year old was accused of watching two girls, 10 and 12 years old, from the parking lot of Vanllee Hotel and Suites after police disseminated his surveillance images from outside the hotel. He then entered the hotel and knocked on the girls' door. Thinking it was their chaperone, the girls opened the door, allowing Rivera easy access into the room.

The girls do not speak English, according to reports from the scene.

After images from the hotel's security footage were made public, Rivera was identified as a person of interest in the case. Later in the day, he posted a video to social media claiming his innocence. In the video, he said he was simply "at the wrong place at the wrong time". "Listen, I did not do nothing wrong.something happened in that hotel, and that's the simple answer".

Police later said they were looking for Rivera, who appeared to be a pastor at God's Gypsy Christian Church in Glendale.

Douglas Rivera was accompanied by his lawyer when he presented himself to police in Covina at 11 a.m., a police sergeant told City News Service. On interrogating the neighbors, the police learned that one of them had witnessed the pastor painting his truck black using a paintbrush and roller.

He was booked on suspicion of child molestation, indecent exposure and burglary, officials said.

The pastor of a Glendale church surrendered to police in the eastern San Gabriel Valley Sunday - to face accusations that he molested two teenaged exchange students from China at a motel last week - and was then released on bail.

He was seen exiting jail on Friday at 2 p.m. local time (5 p.m. EST). Rivera was released from custody pending his initial court appearance.



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