MENLO PARK, Calif. - The pastor of a small congregation in Menlo Park is in jail, accused of the unthinkable. Police say he sexually assaulted both children and adult members of his church.
As members of El Senor Justicia Nuestra Iglesia arrived for 7:30 mass, they found out their pastor, Victor Elizandro Tax-Gomez, was in jail.
Menlo Park police arrested Tax-Gomez on Thursday after several people came forward with similar stories of sexual abuse as children and as young adults.
"A person who is in a position of power is able to prey on people, it really is kind of disturbing because normally those people in power are trusted by the victims," Menlo Park Police Cmdr. Dave Bertini said.
Church member Guadalupe Robles isn't surprised by the accusations. She says some people mentioned he touched a female member's breasts and she then left the church.
The suspect is married with three adult children, who live in Guatemala.
The pastor has led this congregation for the last 12 years. Police believe the assaults took place right here in the building.