by: Tina Terry Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Youth Crimes Unit have charged Orlando Agusto Caldera, 64, with 26 additional felony charges involving Caldera allegedly sexually assaulting victims while serving as an associate minister at his church.
Youth Crimes detectives were able to identify five additional female victims who they said had been sexually assaulted by Caldera, according to CMPD.
In a news conference, police said it took a lot of courage for those five little girls to speak up about alleged sex abuse by Caldera.
They told police Caldera, a former pastor at Memorial United Methodist Church, offered them gifts and candy to gain their trust then sexually assaulted them at the church.
Two other little girls reported the same thing last week and all of them are between 6-10 years old.
Church leaders said Caldera has been at the church about 10 years. He started ministering to the church's Hispanic population about five years ago. They say nothing -- not even his background check -- prepared them for this.
Police said Caldera was alone with children when this happened. Church leaders said policies have always been in place that mandates a certain number of adult chaperones when children are present.
They're working now to make sure everyone follows those rules.
Police are warning parents to be cautious as well.
Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or visit the Crime Stoppers mobile app website.
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