23 Aug 2014
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Police: Man Had Sexual Relationship With Teen Girl Inside Church

Riverside police say the sexual relationship transpired inside the church grounds. A man from Moreno Valley has since been arrested.

Police: Man Had Sexual Relationship With Teen Girl Inside Church

A staff member of a Christian church in Riverside was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of having unlawful sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Riverside police learned from a parent of the girl on Feb. 3 that Gionatan Ricard Almaraz, 37, of Moreno Valley, allegedly carried on a sexual relationship with the girl, who is also a member of the Riverside Apostolic Church, Riverside police Sgt. Jeff Spencer said.

"The suspect is alleged to have committed the assault at the church," Spencer said, adding that Almaraz is a staff member at the church.

An investigation followed and detectives arrested Almaraz at the Riverside Police Department and booked him on several felony sex crimes.

Spencer did not disclose the length of the alleged sexual relationship Almaraz had. Almaraz was released Tuesday after posting $75,000 bail, records showed.


—City News Service contributed to this report.

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