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article imageToronto pastor charged with sexually assaulting parishioners

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 16, 2013 in Crime
Toronto - The 36-year-old faces eight counts of sex related charges after it was alleged he assaulted four female members of his church during a period of almost three years.
Yesterday, Toronto police announced [PDF] the arrest of Pastor Aretlino Vallada on Thursday. The pastor at Jesus Christ the Open Door Church is alleged to have sexually assaulted four female parishioners between November 2010 and January 2013. The alleged victims ranged in age from 14 to 21.
Vallada was charged with four counts of sexual assault, two counts of invitation to sexual touching and two counts of sexual interference. The nature of the charges indicates two of the four females were minors at the time the alleged assaults took place.
Vallada was a pastor in the Philippines before emigrating to Canada. He has been a pastor at Jesus Christ the Open Door Church since it opened six years ago in the west end of Toronto. The Toronto Star reports the church is a registered charity that takes in about $50,000 a year. The funds are used for religious instruction and education.
Members of the congregation were upset at news of the arrest. Tek Uy, president of the Filipino Ministries Fellowship said, "It's shocking to hear these things." And Baula Vallada, the pastor's aunt said, "I'm shocked right now." She described her nephew as a father with five children all under the age of 20.
Vallada appeared in court yesterday. His bail was set at $10,000 but the Crown was concerned the proposed surety, John McMillan who found the church and serves as a director, would not be able to come up with the money. The pastor was remanded in custody until Monday.
Police believe there may be more victims and are asking anyone with information to call the Sex Crimes Unit at (416) 808-7474 or Crime Stoppers.
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