Pastor escorts suspects – Two arrested for molestation

GILROY – Two men have been arrested on suspicion of molesting a 13-year-old Gilroy girl they met through a local church, and are awaiting extradition from Washington State to face charges.

If convicted of felony child molestation, the men could spend up to eight years in prison, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Court records describe the investigation as beginning around 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2001. Entering the lobby of the Gilroy Police Station at that time was Pastor Miguel Arias from the Apostolic Assembly Church, which is located at the corner of Mantelli Drive and Church Street. Arias was accompanied by Jose Gutierrez, 24, of Santa Nella and Isai Torres, 25, of 7510 Rogers Lane. Gutierrez and Torres came to confess that each had a sexual relationship with the girl, according to court records.

The victim and the two suspects met at formal church functions, including weekend services and a church outing, according to court records. Arias, reached at his church this morning by telephone, had no comment. But Sgt. John Sheedy of the GPD said Arias, upon learning of the alleged incident two days prior, handled the matter appropriately.

“I am pleased with the actions of the pastor in facilitating the reporting of this child molest,” Sheedy said.

Bringing the two suspects in one at a time into the station’s briefing room, Officer Frank Bozzo tape recorded their conversations. Torres and Gutierrez both allegedly confessed to having sex with the girl and vying for her attention over the course of several months.

Torres, for instance, allegedly told police he and the victim could not control themselves and had sex at his residence about two weeks before his confession to police. As police had not yet formally interviewed the victim, the men were not arrested that evening, Sheedy said.

On Oct. 2, the victim described having sex with Torres in early September, after being picked up by Gutierrez and Torres around 3 a.m. on a Tuesday. In the Torres residence, Gutierrez and the victim became involved in a verbal argument, as the victim was there to see Torres, according to court records. Gutierrez and the victim had already had sex and broken off a relationship with each other last June, according to court records.

“She said (Gutierrez) was asking her how she could do this to him if she loved him and asked her why she was being so mean to him,” Detective Hank Snow of the GPD wrote in his police report.

A married man, Torres’ wife was not present at the house, according to court records. After Gutierrez and the victim and Gutierrez were finished fighting, the victim entered Torres’ bedroom. There, Torres played a song for the victim he had dedicated to her, and the two allegedly had sexual intercourse, court records show.Gutierrez’s relationship with the victim began and ended several months earlier, according to court records. On June 4, 2001, the victim said she had been picked up at her house by Torres’ wife and Gutierrez, and was brought back to the Torres residence on Rogers Lane.

“I asked how she knew the specific date, she told me that she has a calendar at home and that she put a dot on that date to remember,” Snow wrote in his report

At first, the victim sat watching television. Then, an unidentified man came to visit Torres’ wife, according to court records. The unidentified man was not supposed to know the victim was present, so the victim and Gutierrez went into a bedroom Gutierrez was using, according to court records. There, Gutierrez and the victim had sex, according to court records.

After police interviewed the victim, they filed the evidence with the DA’s office. The DA’s office in turn filed arrest warrants in October for both Gutierrez and Torres, with bail in the amount of $100,000 each, but neither of them could be located, according to Sheedy.

Both men were arrested in separate incidents in Washington State last week, and the arrests were made based on information gathered by the GPD, according to Sheedy. Torres was arrested in Seattle on April 24. Over the weekend, Gutierrez was arrested in Vancouver by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, though Sheedy could not give a precise date.

Torres has waived extradition and will be returned to Santa Clara County within the next two weeks, according to Sheedy. It is not immediately known how long it will take to extradite Gutierrez, Sheedy said.

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