Evangelic pastor to await sexual abuse trial in Najayo jail

Evangelic preacher Johan Manuel Castillo Ortega was sent to await his trial in the Najayo Jail of San Cristobal. He is accused of sexual abuse of several girls taking advantage of his role as pastor of the Iglesia Libre church in Los Alcarrizos, in Santo Domingo West.

After one child and her parents came forward to denounce the pastor, others have taken their complaints to the Attorney General Office. The victims say they live in uncertainty and terror. Several of the victims said they were abused in the yard of the church.

The first report came from a 12 year old whose name is omitted for legal reasons. She said when she was eight years old the accused pastor sexually assaulted her by touching her with his hands. She said she had not spoken before because of her shame.

Castillo Ortega was first arrested on 6 June 2024. The judicial hearings began after a mother of two children denounced Castillo Ortega. He was allowed at the time to post bail for RD$50,000 and impeded from traveling abroad.

But then other victims came forward to tell their stories, giving ground for the judge to order preventive custody.

Now the Public Ministry of the Attorney General Office is asking the Oficina Judicial de Atención Permanente de Santo Domingo Oeste to merge all the cases. The pastor is charged of violating articles 330 and 333 of the Dominican Penal Code and articles 12, 18 and 396 of the Children Protection Law 136-03.

Read more in Spanish:
Diario Libre
Listin Diario
El Caribe

25 June 2024