Carrolton, Texas: Two men were arrested on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 on charges related to the 2018 rape of a then 14-year-old girl that they met through their involvement with the Ministerios Bethania USA church.
Luis Escobar, 59, and Alvaro Jimenez, 71, were taken into custody at the church where they had been residing, but police stated that the assaults did not take place on church property. They have both been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and are being held on bonds of $300,000.
They were initially booked into the Carrollton Jail before being transferred to the Dallas County Jail on Wednesday morning.
Due to the nature of the crime, police are asking that anyone with information on the current case, or who may have been a victim, contact the Carrollton Police Department at (972) 466-3324.
The investigation began in September 2021 when the now 18-year-old reported the sexual assault to a school counselor.
"I was sexually assaulted by two people," the girl later told a Carrollton detective according to the probable cause warrant seen by the Star Telegram. "I was only 14, and I was so scared."
The girl disclosed to the investigators that she had not come forward sooner because Jimenez had threatened to cause trouble for her with her mother if she told anyone.
According to the warrant, written by Carrollton Detective J. Cackler, Jimenez had been at the girl's residence in May 2018 and had requested permission from her mother to take her to get something to eat.
Instead of taking her for food though, she stated that Jimenez took her to Escobar's apartment. She explained that at the time, she had been interested in gymnastics, and that Jimenez had told her Escobar was an instructor and could show her how to stretch.
Once at the apartment, she stated that she was given a drink and a pill that made her sleepy. The men then took her to the bedroom and began assaulting her.
"Then they took my clothes off."
She additionally reported that her hands were bound behind her back with rope and that she was struck several times to force compliance.
A month later, the girl realized she was pregnant but rather than tell her parents about the assault, she told them that a boy at school was responsible.
Her father took her for an abortion in June 2018.
The girl additionally reported being raped on at least three other occasions by Jimenez which resulted in her eventually dropping out of school and finding herself unable to sleep.
Escobar taught online Bible studies for adults and Jimenez worked as an office administrator.
At statement on the church's website read in part, "Our thoughts and prayers go first to the victim and her family who have suffered and have had the courage to speak out. We pray that God may grant them comfort and consolation with justice. We are leaving the investigation in the hands of the Carrollton Police Department."
"It is believed that there may be other victims and we ask that anyone with information come forward to the Carrollton Police Department at (972) 466-3333," the statement says.