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Iowa pastor arrested for child sex abuse hours before his Christian rock band was to play festival

Iowa pastor, 44, is arrested on child sex abuse charges just hours before his Christian rock band was due to perform at Minnesota music festival

  • Emanuel Rodriguez is accused of inappropriately touching two girls, 11 and 12
  • Alleged incidents involving girls known to the 44-year-old occurred between January 2017 and May 2019
  • Several children claimed Rodriguez would ‘touch them inappropriately while they watched a movie on a couch together at his home’
  • A 16-year-old claimed he sent inappropriate images and messages on Instagram and Snapchat 
  • Rodriguez was charged on two counts of third-degree sexual assault of a child

Emanuel Rodriguez, 44, was charged on two counts of third-degree sexual assault of a child Wednesday

An Iowa pastor was arrested for child sexual assault, just hours before he was due to perform with his Christian rock band at a music festival on Saturday.

Emanuel J. Rodriguez, 44 is accused of inappropriately touching two girls known to him, believed to be 11 and 12.

The alleged incidents took place while he and they were covered in blankets.

Rodriguez also assaulted the minors inside two of his former homes in Omaha, Nebraska according to police documents.

The alleged incidents occurred between January 2017 and May 2019. 

The children’s parents reported it to Project Harmony last week. 

Authorities started investigating and several children claimed Rodriguez would ‘touch them inappropriately while they watched a movie on a couch together at his home,’ News 6 reports.

A 16-year-old claimed he sent inappropriate images and messages on Instagram and Snapchat. 

Police then obtained a warrant for his arrest out of Douglas County, Nebraska. 

Rodriguez (pictured singing) was arrested on the morning his band was due to play a show in Duluth, Minnesota

Rodriguez (pictured singing) was arrested on the morning his band was due to play a show in Duluth, Minnesota

The group was set to perform at the Wood City Music Festival on Saturday afternoon

 The group was set to perform at the Wood City Music Festival on Saturday afternoon

Rodriguez is accused of inappropriately touching two girls, believed to be 11 and 12 years old

Rodriguez is accused of inappropriately touching two girls, believed to be 11 and 12 years old

Rodriguez was finally taken into custody  at Carlton County Jail in Minnesota on the morning his music group 70xForgiven was due to play the Wood City Music Festival in Duluth, TwinCities.com reported.

The man listed as a pastor at Calvary Assembly of God Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa was held without bail on two counts of third-degree sexual assault of a child.

He waived extradition and is expected to return to Nebraska soon.

KETV reported the affidavit says two adolescent females described similar encounters with the accused man as the 11-and-12-year-old girls.

However Rodriguez is currently not facing charges for those allegations.  

‘It’s extremely disturbing that there are individuals who take advantage of the position that they’re in, with a relationship or the trust they have with the parents or the child themselves, to allow them an opportunity to do these horrible things,’ Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said. 

‘The only difference between this type of assault and a first degree sexual assault, is the lack of penetration… it’s as serious as they get when you’re talking about taking advantage of children.’ 

The alleged incidents Rodriguez is accused in occurred between January 2017 and May 2019

The alleged incidents Rodriguez is accused in occurred between January 2017 and May 2019

Douglas County Attorney Don Klein said: 'It's extremely disturbing that there are individuals who take advantage of the position that they're in.' Rodriguez is pictured bottom left

Douglas County Attorney Don Klein said: ‘It’s extremely disturbing that there are individuals who take advantage of the position that they’re in.’ Rodriguez is pictured bottom left

The director of communications for Project Harmony called abusers who know the victim - which is 90 percent of cases, 'master manipulators'. Rodriguez is pictured top left

The director of communications for Project Harmony called abusers who know the victim – which is 90 percent of cases, ‘master manipulators’. Rodriguez is pictured top left

The director of communications for Project Harmony called abusers who know the victim – which is 90 percent of cases, ‘master manipulators’.

‘They do tend to build that relationship with the child as well as the family to make them seem as if they are one of the trusted adults,’ Angela Roeber said. ‘When accusations come forward, it does make it appear as it couldn’t possibly happen, but what we have as a responsibility to the community, is to believe our children.’

Call the Nebraska DHHS Abuse/Neglect Hotline on 1-800-652-1999 to report adult and child abuse and neglect.

Rodriguez is pictured center left with his Christian rock music group 70xForgiven

Rodriguez is pictured center left with his Christian rock music group 70xForgiven

The pastor at Calvary Assembly of God Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa (pictured) was held at Carlton County, Minnesota, and it is not known when he will be extradited to Nebraska

The pastor at Calvary Assembly of God Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa (pictured) was held at Carlton County, Minnesota, and it is not known when he will be extradited to Nebraska

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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