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Menlo Park pastor pleads no contest to sex crimes against teen parishioners

 

A pastor of a Menlo Park church has pleaded no contest to three felonies: two counts of sexual battery and one count of molesting a child 13 or younger.

Ever Oliveros-Cano, 50, of Menlo Park, was arrested last June on suspicion of sexually molesting three teens who attended the church he led as pastor, El Senor Justicia Nuestra Church, located in the 1300 block of Chilco Street in Menlo Park. The church leases space from Greater Friendship Baptist Church.


Ever Oliveros-Cano. (Photo courtesy San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.)
His plea comes on the condition of a maximum of eight years in state prison.

According to prosecutors, Mr. Oliveros-Cano sexually molested, on separate occasions, three teenage girls two sisters and a friend who were 13, 15, and 17 at the time. The crimes allegedly occurred while Mr. Oliveros-Cano claimed to be praying with or "cleansing" them, at the church office and a small house next to the church.

Two years later, one of the victims reported the crimes to a therapist, who then reported the information to the Menlo Park Police Department.

As pastor, he had used another name: Victor Elizandro Tax-Gomez.

Mr. Oliveros-Cano was initially charged with seven felonies: several counts of digital penetration in addition to sexual battery and child molestation and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was previously arrested by border patrol agents in July 2003 after attempting to illegally enter the U.S., according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson James Schwab.

After Mr. Oliveros-Cano was arrested in 2017, he initially posted bail June 2, and county law enforcement officials coordinated with agents from ICE to transfer custody to that agency.

At the time, Mr. Schwab said the agency planned to place Mr. Oliveros-Cano in proceedings to be removed from the U.S.

He was brought back to county custody after the court agreed to a request by the prosecution to increase his bail to $250,000 from $100,000, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, and remains in jail on $250,000 bail.

He is scheduled to be sentenced April 13.

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