Glendale pastor accused of sexual assault of a minor turns himself in to police

2018-02-12 | Los Angeles Times

Feb. 11--A Glendale pastor suspected of sexually assaulting a minor in a Covina hotel room surrendered himself to authorities Sunday morning after days of hiding.

Douglas Rivera, of Baldwin Park, and his attorney showed up at the Covina Police Department about 11 a.m. and Rivera turned himself in, Sgt. Ray Marquez said. Rivera was arrested and booked on multiple charges, including sexual assault, indecent exposure and burglary with intent to commit a crime, Marquez said.

Rivera's bail is set at $280,000.

On Friday, Rivera posted an Instagram video clip in which he addressed the camera, denied the allegations against him and said he planned to surrender to authorities next week, according to KTLA news.

"I did not do nothing wrong. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time," Rivera says into the camera. "Something happened in that hotel and that's the simple answer."

Rivera, 40, is suspected of driving to the Vanllee Hotel and Suites in Covina just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, where he spotted a lit room with its drapes open and spied on two minors who were inside, police said. Rivera then proceeded to masturbate in his vehicle as he watched the minors, police said.

He then got out of his car and stood outside the hotel room window, where he pretended to be on his phone, police said. After 30 minutes, Rivera went inside the hotel and forced his way into the room where the minors were staying, police said.

Covina police said the minors, reported by KTLA to be part of a tourist group from China, opened the door for him thinking it was their chaperone.

He assaulted one of the minors and then fled from the area in his car, authorities said.

Rivera is listed as a pastor of God's Gypsy Christian Church, which worships out of Glendale City Church.

On Friday evening, Glendale City Church released a statement on Facebook distancing itself from Rivera. It said the relationship between the city church and God's Gypsy Christian was "simply lessor to lessee."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, with the RYMM congregation, with law enforcement and with Rev. Rivera," according to the statement, which refers to "Renewing Your Mind Ministries," words on the Gypsy Christian Church's website. "We pray for justice and healing to win the day."

cindy.carcamo@latimes.com

andy.nguyen@latimes.com

UPDATES:

3:25 p.m.: This article was updated with new information from police.

This article was originally posted at 12:20 p.m.