A Wildomar youth pastor accused of sexually molesting two underage girls over an 18-year span pleaded not guilty Thursday to lewd acts on a child and other felony charges.
Malo Victor Monteiro, 45, of Colton was arrested last month following a Riverside County sheriff’s investigation into the allegations.
Along with three counts of lewd acts on a child, Monteiro is charged with three counts of sexual assault of a minor and one count of attempted oral copulation of a child under 18 years old.
He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kelly Hansen, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Sept. 13 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. James Woodland, detectives were informed in June about alleged sex acts involving the pastor and two female juveniles at the Faith Baptist Church on Walnut Street. Interviews were conducted with the girls, and it was determined that the alleged sex abuse had occurred between 1999 and 2017, he said.
One of the alleged victims, now an adult, is suing First Baptist Church, claiming administrators at the house of worship knew about Monteiro’s conduct and chose to look the other way.
Investigators believe there may be other victims who have not come forward. Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Lake Elsinore station at (951) 245-3300.
Monteiro, who is being held in lieu of $80,000 bail at the Byrd Detention Center, has no documented prior felony convictions.
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