Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pastor arrested for raping teen choir girl

A Murrieta man and assistant pastor was arrested today on suspicion of raping a choir girl.

Joseph Jermaine Spencer, 26, turned himself into San Bernardino law enforcement and was booked into the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, according to sheriff’s department records.

He was charged with raping a 16-year-old member of the choir he directed at Mountain View Community Church in Temecula. He was on probation for a sex crime conviction, according to the Murrieta Police Department.

A bio published on the church's website can be seen by clicking here.

He was booked on suspicion of rape by force or fear, oral copulation with a person under 18, sex with a minor three or more years younger and penetration with a foreign object. He was being held today in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Information on a court date was not immediately available.

Murrieta police were told the incident happened at Spencer’s Murrieta home on Monday, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Julie Hoxmeier.

The girl also told police the suspect had inappropriately touched her weeks ago at his home.

The terms of his probation prohibit him from being around minors without supervision, police said. His capacity as choir director meant he worked among 40-50 female minors.

A search of San Bernardino County court records revealed that Spencer was convicted in 2008 of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, with the perpetrator being over 21 and the victim being 16 years or less.

A second charge of committing sexual penetration with a foreign object was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Spencer, who was granted four years probation, never went to trial, but in 2009 was brought back before a judge for failing to report to the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center to serve a mandated 180 days in jail.

At the 2009 court hearing, probation was reinstated and he was sentenced to 240 days local jail time.

His name was not found on the state sex registrant database.

Spencer has already been charged in Riverside County Superior Court and is awaiting a court date, records indicate

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