A priest’s concern about the attention a church volunteer was giving to a young parishioner sparked an investigation that led to the arrest of a 34-year-old man on multiple counts of sexual assault.
New details are emerging in the case against Eduardo Sanchez Arellano, who currently stands accused of sexually assaulting two young boys. Arellano was taken into custody on Dec. 6 on suspicion of sodomy, oral copulation, continued sexual abuse, and other child molestation related charges, said Turlock Police spokesperson officer Mayra Lewis.
Arellano was in Stanislaus County Superior Court Friday morning for an arraignment. He has been appointed a public defender and entered a not guilty plea to two felony counts on continued sexual abuse. He remains in custody at the Stanislaus county Jail on an immigration hold and in lieu of a $500,000 bail.
Arellano had been a volunteer at Sacred Heart Catholic Church for the last five years. He volunteered in two Spanish language religious classes for youth and was a parishioner at the church, according to Stockton Diocese spokesperson Sister Terry Davis.
The investigation into Arellano was prompted by a priest who became concerned of the increased attention being given to a young member of the church. Based on his suspicion, the priest spoke to the boy, who admitted he had been a victim of ongoing and continuous sexual abuse by Arellano, Lewis said.
The priest also had concerns about another boy who had been given similar attention by Arellano. The second victim also disclosed having been sexually abused by Arellano, Lewis said.
The criminal complaint lodged against Arellano accuses him of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy from May 18, 2004 to Sept. 30, 2006, and a 12-year-old boy from June 1, 2009 to Jan. 1 of this year.
The investigation did not reveal that any of the incidents occurred on church grounds or during church sponsored functions.
“Our volunteers are never left alone with the children,” Davis said.
Turlock Police Detective Cristina Magana is asking other possible victims to come forth. If anyone has additional information regarding this case they can contact her at 668-5550 extension 6627.