A Turlock man who volunteered at a local church has been convicted of multiple accounts of sexually abusing children.
Eduardo Arellano Sanchez, 37, entered no contest pleas Monday in Stanislaus County Superior Court to two charges of continual sexual abuse of a child and one count of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years, said Deputy District Attorney Merrill Hoult.
As part of the plea deal the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office agreed to drop six other charges against Sanchez, including two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
Hoult said the plea deal stipulates Sanchez will be sentenced to 28 years in prison and following that will be on parole for 20 years and six months. He’ll have to register as a sex offender for life and the conviction counts as strikes against him.
Sanchez was arrested in December 2012 after a priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church grew suspicious about the attention Sanchez was giving to two young boys at the church. Based on his suspicion, the priest spoke to the boys separately and they both stated Sanchez had been sexually abusing them for some time.
Arellano had been a volunteer at Sacred Heart Catholic Church for five years. He volunteered in two Spanish language religious classes for youth and was a parishioner at the church, according to Stockton Diocese.
The resulting investigation did not reveal that any of the incidents occurred on church grounds or during church sponsored functions. The Diocese stated volunteers are never left alone with children.
Sanchez was accused 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, 2012. The third victim, an 11-year-old boy, was molested by Sanchez during a car ride home.
Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced on July 30.