November 14, 2005

Church usher charged with sex abuse of teen



An usher at a Patchogue church was arraigned yesterday in the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old parishioner, police said.

Pastor Javier Feliciano, of Spanish Pentecostal Church, said he was told by the child's family that usher Junior Esteves, 28, of Medford, allegedly abused a child he was driving home from a rehearsal for a skit in which both dressed in fatigues and played soldiers of Christ.

Esteves was arrested Saturday at the church around 4:30 p.m. and charged with second-degree sexual abuse, which includes inappropriate touching of a child under 14. If found guilty, punishment is up to a year in jail.

"We're hurt," said Feliciano, leaving the church after yesterday's morning Mass. "We never expected this."

Feliciano said Esteves and the child, whose name and gender are being withheld by police, were going to be in a five-minute sketch with other church members for a special Saturday Mass to be officiated by the children from the church group.

Posted by kshaw at November 14, 2005 08:23 AM