Catholic Priest Arrested on Child Pornography Charges in Long Beach

Catholic Priest Arrested on Child Pornography Charges in Long Beach

A Catholic priest in Long Beach, Rodolfo Martinez-Guevara, has been arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography following a months-long investigation by the Ventura County district attorney’s office. Martinez-Guevara, 38, was associated with the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit religious order and had served as a minister. He had previously worked as a transitional deacon and newly ordained priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Oxnard from July 2021 to September 2022.

The investigation into Martinez-Guevara began after several anonymous reports were made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In April, the Ventura County Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force launched a separate investigation. Prosecutors discovered that Martinez-Guevara had over 600 images of child sex abuse, including images and videos of victims under the age of 12.

Ventura County Dist. Atty. Erik Nasarenko stated that as a priest, Martinez-Guevara held a position of power, authority, and trust, and the alleged crimes deeply violated that trust. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has removed Martinez-Guevara from ministry and his religious order. In a statement, the Archdiocese expressed its opposition to any sexual misconduct and offered support to the victims.

The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, through their provincial superior Pedro Arteaga, have assured cooperation with law enforcement and initiated an internal investigation. Arteaga also called for prayers for the victims and their families, as well as healing within the community.

Martinez-Guevara is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday at Ventura County Superior Court. He was arrested on Wednesday and is currently held in custody at Ventura County jail on $750,000 bail.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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