MURRIETA - An assistant pastor at a Temecula church accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old parishioner is slated to be arraigned today at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
Joseph Jermaine Spencer, 26, could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted of forcible rape, unlawful intercourse with a minor, oral copulation and sexual penetration with a foreign object. He is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by Murrieta police Investigator Matthew Haddad, Spencer allegedly sexually assaulted a girl at his apartment in the 33600 block of Mapleton Avenue in Murrieta on April 25.
Haddad wrote that Spencer befriended the victim while teaching choir at their church, which was not identified.
Between February and April, the defendant would meet the girl at school and drive her back to his residence, where they mainly watched television, unbeknown to the victim's mother, Haddad said.
On the day of the alleged assault, Spencer and the 16-year-old were watching TV on his bed when he began to undress her, according to court papers.
Spencer began kissing her and assaulting her, according to Haddad. The vicim told Spencer to stop but Spencer pulled down the victim's pants and underwear and continued his assault.
According to the affidavit, the defendant initiated intercourse but "the victim was in pain ... and told him to stop." He did and returned her to school, where she informed a counselor of what allegedly transpired, according to Haddad.
Spencer fled the area but turned himself in to San Bernardino County sheriff's officials a few days later, authorities said.
According to court records, he has a 2008 conviction for sexually assaulting a minor and is on probation.
Murrieta police noted that while directing the church choir, he was regularly in contact with three- to five-dozen girls.