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Pastor arrested for sexual battery on teenager; 17-year-old girl claims she was victimized for years

Posted at 5:54 PM, Apr 27, 2017

Pastor Walter Chuquimia of Beth-El Farmworker Ministry was arrested Wednesday after a 17-year-old girl came forward days earlier to report Chuquimia sexually battered her since 2011.

According to the arrest report, Chuquimia admitted to several of the offenses. He is charged with three counts of Sexual Battery.

The church has served a ministry for a largely Hispanic congregation for the past 41 years. Executive Director Kathleen Dain told ABC Action News they learned of the allegations earlier in the week and launched their own investigation.

Investigators said the 17-year-old was sexually battered by Chuquimia as recently as Monday.

“We are devastated by the allegations and are working diligently and providing council for all parties involved,” Dain said. “We are trying to process this. To the best of our knowledge it does not involve anyone affiliated with the church and mission.”

Detectives have not identified any other victims, however if anyone has any additional information concerning Chuquimia, they are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.