Rhea Mahbubani

Menlo Park Church Pastor Arrested on Suspicion of Sex Crimes

A Menlo Park church pastor was arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexually assaulting several people, both youngsters and adults, according to police.

Victor Elizandro Tax-Gomez faces six counts of sexual assault after a number of victims, the youngest of whom is under 14 years old, reported that he touched them inappropriately, police said. The East Palo Alto resident, 47, is a pastor at El Senor Justicia Nuestra Church on the 1300 block of Chilco Street.

Capt. Dave Bertini told the Mercury News that police suspect Tax-Gomez committed most of his crimes at the church. Police have not cofirmed, however, whether the victims were members of the Justicia Nuestra congregation, which leases space at an existing church.

Officers located Tax-Gomez and brought him to the Menlo Park police station for questioning. He was arrested at the end of the interview and booked into the San Mateo County Jail.

His charges include sexual penetration with a foreign object of an adult and two juveniles, one of whom is under 16 years old. Tax-Gomez is also accused of committing lewd acts with a child — one under 14 and the other under 15 years old — as well as meeting with someone less than 18 years old with the intent to commit a lewd act, police said.

Police are not looking for any outstanding suspects, but have asked any additional victims to come forward.

People with information about the case are asked to call Sgt. Ed Soares at 650-330-6360, Detective Jeremy Ordone at 650-330-6357 or the anonymous tip line at 650-330-6395.

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