East Bay Pastor convicted of 230 counts child molestation flees to Mexico
December 16. 2017
Fernando Maldonado, child rapist
Concord resident, was found guilty of 23 counts of child sexual abuse. He fled to Mexico before he could be taken into custody, prosecutors said.
Fernando Maldonado, a 32-year-old Concord resident, was found guilty of 23 counts of child sexual abuse. He fled to Mexico before he could be taken into custody, prosecutors said.
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A Contra Costa County jury convicted a Martinez pastor of 23 counts of child sexual abuse days after he failed to show up at his trial and apparently fled to Mexico with his wife and children — jumping $1.29 million in bail secured by relatives, prosecutors said Thursday.
Fernando Maldonado, 37, faces up to 34 years in state prison for crimes ranging from committing lewd acts upon a child to unlawful sexual intercourse and sodomy of a person under the age of 18.
A jury convicted him on all charges Wednesday after deliberating for 2½ hours. But the defendant was not present when the panel announced its decision.
A bench warrant was issued for him when he failed to show up for his trial on Monday. Maldonado was last spotted driving south on Interstate 5 near San Diego on Sunday, said Jordan Sanders, a Contra Costa County deputy district attorney.
“Based on this information, I am comfortable assuming he is driving to Mexico with his wife and children,” Sanders said.
Shortly after his arrest in April 2016, Maldonado was released on $1.29 million bail secured by six relatives who put up to their properties as collateral.
Prosecutors said Maldonado had a sexual relationship between 2012 and 2016 with a young girl, beginning when she was 13 years old and while he was a minister at Morello Baptist Church in Martinez. The victim, whose name was not released, was a church parishioner, said Sanders.
Their relationship continued until the victim ended it in December 2014 when she was about 16 years old, Sanders said.
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