The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department began an investigation on December 19th after a victim came forward with allegations that they had been sexually abused over the course of several years.
The following day, 44 year old Bramwell Bernardo Retana, pastor of Oasis de Paz, was arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on seven counts of lewdness with a minor under the age of 14, and one count each of sexual assault on a victim under the age of 14, sexually motivated kidnapping in the first degree, luring a child with a computer to engage in sexual activity, and child abuse.
Oasis de Paz, which started as a home church, was founded in 2004 by Retana and his wife after they were ordained in Phoenix in 2002 by the International Holiness Church.
Police believed from the time of the arrest that due to Retana's position, it was likely that there were other as of yet unknown victims.
Ratana posted bond after his arrest on the conditions that he stay away from the victims' residences and remain in contact with his attorney. According to the Review-Journal, in response to additional charges, Ratana surrendered his bond on January 3rd and returned to the Clark County Detention Center where he remains in custody.
Additional victims have been identified and an additional 24 charges have been filed against Retana as a second case.
Ratana is now faced with a total of 19 counts of lewdness with a minor under the age of 14, 11 counts of sexually motivated kidnapping in the first degree, 2 counts of luring a minor with a computer to engage in sexual activity, and one count each of child abuse or neglect, sexual assault on a child under 14, and preventing or dissuading the report of a crime.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for both cases is scheduled for February 3rd at 9:30 am.
Anyone with any information about this case, or anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Retana’s, is urged to contact the LVMPD Sexual Assault Juvenile Section at 702-828-3421. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or online. Tips leading directly to an arrest or indictment processed through Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a cash reward.