Pastor on the Run Accused of Sexually Assaulting Preteen Claims Innocence on Instagram - NBC Southern California
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Pastor on the Run Accused of Sexually Assaulting Preteen Claims Innocence on Instagram

Surveillance outside the hotel captured the man, believed to be a pastor, on camera

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pastor Facing Sex Assault Charges

    A pastor facing sex assault charges says he will turn himself in Wednesday, but police say he's on the run. Christine Kim reports for the NBC4 News at 4 on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. (Published Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018)

    A pastor from a Glendale church is being sought by police after authorities say he was caught on camera masturbating outside a Covina hotel before then assaulting a preteen girl.

    Covina police were searching for pastor Douglas Rivera Friday evening after he was set to turn himself in, and never showed up.

    Instead, he posted a video on Instagram where he claimed his innocence.

    "No matter what you see on Insta, keep me in your prayers," Rivera said in the video. "I love you, Los Angeles. God will take his truth out."

    Pastor on the Run Turns to Instagram to Clear Name

    [LA] Pastor on the Run Turns to Instagram to Clear Name

    A pastor accused of sexually assaulting a minor in a hotel room turned to Instagram in an attempt to clear his name. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

    (Published Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018)

    Rivera, who is from Baldwin Park, was accused of assaulting the preteen Wednesday.

    The assault was reported at 8:08 p.m. Wednesday at Vanllee Hotel and Suites, located at 1211 E. Garvey St., according to the Covina Police Department.

    The man, identified by police as Rivera, drove through the hotel's parking lot until he saw a lit room with drapes open and then parked his truck to face the interior of the room, police said.

    Two minors were inside of the hotel room.

    Police said Rivera had masturbated while watching the two minors. He exited the truck and stood outside of their hotel window pretending to be on the phone for more than 30 minutes before he walked through the hotel.

    Police then say he forced his way into the room once the minors opened the door, believing it was their chaperone.

    Police Search for Man Who Assaulted Preteen at Covina Hotel

    [LA] Police Search for Man Who Assaulted Preteen at Covina Hotel

    The man lurked outside and engaged in a lewd act before entering the preteen girls' room, police said. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

    (Published Friday, Feb. 9, 2018)

    Rivera was accused of assaulting one of the minors, between 10 and 12 years old, before fleeing in his truck, police said.

    His truck was described as a newer black or dark-colored Dodge 4500 Ram, with a flatbed and a large metal ramp for a tailgate.

    Rivera was to have surrendered earlier but did not show up, according to police. Police believe he is on the run. "It appears to be a stall tactic," said CPD Lt. Ric Walczak. "There's no communication with us."

    Rivera is a pastor at God's Gypsy Christian Church at 610 E California Ave., police said.

    Anyone with information regarding the assault or the suspect was urged to contact the Covina police Detective Ramirez at 626-384-5621, the watch commander at 626-384-5665, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS-8477.

    "We ask for people who might believe he's going to turn himself in to consider the fact that hasn't panned out so far and it's important for this person to be in custody," Walczak said.

    Predator Forces Way Into Hotel to Assault Minor

    [LA] Predator Forces Way Into Hotel to Assault Minor

    Covina police are looking for a man who forced his way into a hotel room and sexually assaulted a minor. Toni Guinyard reports for Today in LA on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

    (Published Friday, Feb. 9, 2018)

    NBC4's Patrick Healy and Christine Kim contributed to this story.

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