Sarasota pastor arrested on charges of sexual battery of a girl under the age of 12

Sarasota pastor arrested on charges of sexual battery of a girl under the age of 12
On Friday, July 26, 2019, police in Sarasota arrested Morales on charges of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 12. (Source: Sarasota Police)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Detectives in Sarasota have arrested a pastor on charges of sexual battery of a girl under the age of 12.

Detectives say on Thursday, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the little girl’s mother that Bicente Velasquez Morales, 43, a pastor at the House of Restoration Ministry on Pershing Avenue, had sexually battered her daughter. The mother made the report after detectives say her daughter told her about the abuse.

On Friday, Child Protective Services interviewed the victim, who told interviewers Morales had inappropriately touched her three separate times.

Detectives arrested Morales Friday night on a felony charge of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 12. He will be booked into the Sarasota County Jail.

Sarasota Police are asking anyone with more information to call detectives at 941-364-7336 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

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