9-Year-Old Girl Allegedly Molested By Church Bible Study Leader in Florida

Expand | Collapse
(Photo: NBC Miami Screenshot)Maher Jair Ortega-Estevez is accused of molesting a nine-year-old girl in his church congregation in Hollywood, Fl.

A 29 year-old Florida man has been accused of molesting a 9-year-old girl who attended his church.

Maher Jair Ortega-Estevez, 29, allegedly molested the child in his own bedroom when she and her family visited his apartment in Broward County. The girl subsequently told her parents about the incident after Ortega-Estevez attacked her.

"The suspect had placed the victim on his lap and at that time is when he fondled her," BSO Sgt. Aimee Alexander told NBC Miami.

Ortega-Estevez was arrested on Tuesday and charged with lewd or lascivious molestation.

Estevez runs Bible studies and has volunteered at the the Hollywood branch of Assembly of God Bethlehem Ministry church for more than two years, a church pastor told NBC Miami.

Police believe that the girl is not the only victim and are asking others who may have been molested or have additional information about Ortega-Estevez to step forward.

"He was someone that his family trusted and other people in the church trusted," Alexander added. "It is not unusual for suspects like this to take advantage of more than one child."

The Assembly of God Bethlehem informed The Christian Post that the church had been informed of the arrest but declined to offer any further comments on the case.