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An American pastor accused of raping an underage Chinese tourist at a Covina, California hotel last week turned himself in Sunday morning to police, only to be released on bail just a few hours later.
Pastor Douglas Rivera of God’s Gypsy Christian Church in Glendale, California allegedly peered into a room at Vanllee Hotel and Suites where two girls, aged 10 and 12, were staying late Wednesday. He reportedly masturbated as he watched the two minors who were on a field trip from China, reports CBS News.
According to the authorities, Rivera then went inside the hotel where the children were staying. The victims opened the door, thinking he was their chaperone, allowing Rivera to force his way into the room. He then sexually assaulted one of the girls, quickly fleeing the scene afterwards and going on the run for a few days. Covina Police Department released surveillance images from outside the hotel, which showed Rivera loitering about near the hotel.
“I did not do nothing wrong,” Rivera said in a video he posted on Instagram on Friday while still then being hunted by the police. “I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Something happened in that hotel, and that’s the simple answer.”
“I’ve just finished with my lawyer. I am going to jail on Wednesday, with the lawyer, to submit myself so they could continue their investigation. There is absolutely no truth to that. No matter what you see on the Instagram or the TV, there is no truth to it.”
“I love you Los Angeles. Please, keep me in prayer. God will take his truth out. I love you.”
In a statement posted on Facebook Friday, Glendale City Church distanced itself from Rivera, noting that the relationship between the city church and God’s Gypsy Christian was mere “lessor to the lessee.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, with the RYMM congregation, with law enforcement and with Rev. Rivera,” according to the statement. “We pray for justice and healing to win the day.”
Rivera, who posted his $280,000 bail Sunday afternoon, is not due back in court until April, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Feature Image via Covina Police Department