Thursday, November 3, 2011

California Pastor arrested for molesting preteen girl

SAN DIEGO - A one-time Marine who founded an Oceanside church was behind bars today on suspicion of having a two-year sexual relationship with a preteen Riverside County girl.

Matthias Anderson, 41, was arrested at the alleged victim's Murrieta home Tuesday morning and booked on suspicion of unlawful sex with a minor and lewd acts with a child under 14.

The girl and her mother are members of New Wine Ministries Church, which Anderson started in 2002 while stationed at Camp Pendleton, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Phil Gomez. Anderson has since retired from the military and become a full-time minister, the sergeant said.

The alleged victim and her mother, whose names have not been released, came forward recently with accusations that the pastor had been molesting the girl since 2009, Gomez said.

"The sexual relationship ... occurred multiple times in both Riverside and San Diego counties," Gomez alleged.

Anderson, who lives in Hemet, allegedly would pick the girl up at her home and take her to another location to have sex with her, the sergeant said.

"Based on the investigation, detectives believe there is a possibility of additional victims in the Oceanside area," he said.

Anderson was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta

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