Accused Phoenix child molester pleads guilty - WNEM TV 5


Accused Phoenix child molester pleads guilty

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A Phoenix man has pleaded guilty to several charges involving sex with children.

Christian Turcios was arrested by Phoenix police on Jan. 9, 2011. He originally pleaded not guilty in Maricopa County Superior Court.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted molestation of a child, two counts of molestation of a child, aggravated assault and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.

Sentencing is set for June 6 before Judge Peter Reinstein.

He is suspected of molesting an 11-year-old child during a church summer camp at Phoenix First Assembly in the summer of 2010, though he has not been charged with the crime.

Police said their investigation began on July 23, 2010, when they responded to a report of a child molestation which had occurred during a church summer camp at Phoenix First Assembly.

Investigators said they attempted to question Turcios about the allegations but he never appeared for an interview and refused to cooperate. Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos said there was insufficient evidence at the time to make an arrest, however Turcios remained listed as a suspect.

In October 2011, investigators from the Internet Crimes Against Children launched an investigation into the online exchange of images and videos of child pornography. Investigators said they developed sufficient information to obtain a search warrant on Turcios' home. Detectives executed a search warrant and collected evidence found at the home.

A forensic analysis was performed on the evidence collected. Investigators not only discovered images of children engaged in a variety of sexual acts, but also located images of Turcios allegedly engaged in sexual acts with children believed to be between the ages of 13 to 16, Martos said.

Turcios' neighbors with children around those ages said they were disturbed by the report.

"I'm very disgusted and concerned because I have little kids here living at the house and there's kids all over," neighbor Rebecca Riley said.

Investigators also located information indicating Turcios was babysitting for members of Highland Church in North Scottsdale, including a video depicting a young boy undressing, Martos said.

Detectives from the Phoenix Police Department's Crimes Against Children Unit became involved and worked to identify the family who had asked Turcios to baby sit. "Detectives learned Turcios surreptitiously obtained video of a 7-year-old boy whom he babysat," Martos said. The video was recorded in the home, according to investigators.

Turcios refused to cooperate with detectives and declined to answer questions.

"Based on the totality of evidence and information known in this case, it is believed Turcios may have preyed on young children for several years," Martos said. "He placed himself in positions where he could be around children during church camps and other activities," he added.

Martos said police are aware of at least three other victims, based on evidence collected at his home; however they have been unable to identify them.

A written statement from an associate pastor at Phoenix First Assembly explains that Turcios was not an employee in 2010, only a volunteer. When the first allegation came forward, Turcios was forbidden from returning to the church and was given a formal trespass notice from police.

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