June 15, 2005

Springfield Pastor Charged With Molesting Girl, 4

Washington Post

By Karin Brulliard
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 15, 2005; Page B05

An associate pastor at a Springfield church has been charged with molesting a 4-year-old girl, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

Rafael Arteaga, 58, was arrested Monday night at his home, a small brick bungalow across the street from the rear parking lot of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, at 5800 Backlick Rd. He is being held without bond on a forcible sodomy charge, police spokeswoman Mary Mulrenan said.

The attack took place inside the church about 5 p.m. June 9, police said. Shortly before, Arteaga was chatting with the girl's 23-year-old mother at the church playground, and the girl asked for water, police said. Arteaga then offered to take her inside the church for a drink, police said.

Mulrenan said she did not know how long Arteaga and the girl were inside the church alone, but she said the "mother did think it was too long and began to walk toward the church" just as the pastor and the girl came out.

The next day, the girl told her mother the pastor had touched her inappropriately, Mulrenan said. The mother and daughter were not church members, she said.

Posted by kshaw at June 15, 2005 04:00 AM