Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pastor's son arrested for sexual battery against two young girls

The pastor's son at a local church has been arrested and charged on suspicion of sexual misconduct with two minors, according to court records and the sheriff's office.

Ruben J. Matuk, 28, has been charged by the district attorney's office on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, indecent exposure, attempted lewd acts with a child under 14 and sexual battery, according to San Benito County court records.

Investigators allege the crimes occurred at the Apostolic Full Gospel Church of Christ, 1515 Santa Ana Road, and also at Matuk's residence adjacent to the church address, said Detective Victor Casada with the San Benito County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's investigators first were informed of the suspected misconduct Nov. 14. The two alleging victims disclosed the incidents to someone else who, in turn, reported them to the sheriff's office. Deputies arrested Matuk that night, Casada said.

Matuk, however, was released from the San Benito County Jail on Nov. 23 after posting bail, which had been set at $100,000, according to court records. His attorney, Elvira Zaragoza Robinson, declined to comment when reached Monday.

"At this time, his attorney is not making a statement," she said.

Matuk's father and the pastor of the local church, meanwhile, could not be reached before press time.

Authorities believe the misdeeds started in September 2003 when they suspect Matuk committed lewd and lascivious acts with a girl who had been 12 years old, Casada said.

Regarding the second suspected victim, prosecutors charged Matuk on suspicion of attempted lewd and lascivious acts in June 2008, along with indecent exposure and sexual battery on Sept. 1 of this year, according to court records. Those dates mean the alleging victim would have been about 15 years old at the time.

Two of the charges are felonies. A conviction for lewd and lascivious acts would carry a maximum penalty of eight years in prison, while attempted lewd and lascivious acts has a maximum penalty of three years in prison, according to the penal code. If convicted, Matuk also would have to register as a sex offender.

At a hearing Friday afternoon, Judge Steven Sanders OK'd a protective order – requested by Deputy District Attorney Omar Rodriguez – against Matuk disallowing him from making any contact with the suspected victims. He also is barred from being on the church property because some of the accusations allege he committed the acts on the grounds.

Sanders set the next hearing in the Matuk case for 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at the San Benito County Courthouse. Deputy District Attorney Omar Rodrigues is overseeing the prosecution in the case.

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