Pablo Cesar Cartagena
Pablo Cesar Cartagena. Photo: LAPD

A former youth minister of a Panorama City church was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting four victims, three of them his own stepchildren and one a family friend, police said Friday.

Pablo Cesar Cartagena was arrested about 3 p.m. Thursday at his home, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

“In 2005, the first victim was between six and 12 years old,” according to a police statement. “Cartagena sexually assaulted her numerous times, within a 1 1/2-year period, when no one was home.”

Police allege that in 2008 and 2009, “Cartagena violently assaulted a teenage victim, on two separate occasions, while she took a shower.”

Again, no one else was at home during the alleged attacks, police said.

“From 2008 through 2009, Cartagena entered the bedroom of a developmentally disabled child,” police said. “He locked the bedroom door and violently sexually assaulted her.

“The fourth victim, who was 10 years old at the time, was sexually assaulted by Cartagena in conjunction with a church function.”

Cartagena taught as a youth minister/youth counselor from 2007-2012 at a church in the 8700 block of Van Nuys Boulevard, according to the LAPD.

Detectives have released a photo of Cartagena, who was being held in lieu of $350,000 bail, as they believe there may be additional victims of unreported assaults.

Anyone who recognizes Cartagena and has information regarding the case was urged to contact detectives at (213) 486-0567, (213) 486-0570 or (213) 486- 0599.

The Abused Child Section of the LAPD’s Valley Bureau can be reached at (818) 374-5415.

During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.

–City News Service

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