Victor Tax-Gomez, pastor of El Senor Justicia Nuestra Church in Menlo Park, California, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting several church children.
After spending a little more than a day at the San Mateo County jail, the pastor of a Menlo Park church arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of children as young as 13 was picked up June 2 by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.
Victor Elizandro Tax-Gomez, 47, from East Palo Alto, is a pastor at the El Senor Justicia Nuestra Church, located in the 1300 block of Chilco Street in Menlo Park. The church leases space in another church at that location, police said.
According to Detective Salvador Zuno of the Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Tax-Gomez was booked into the county jail on Thursday, June 1, around 11:40 a.m. and released after posting bail the following day around 7:20 p.m.
He said that the Sheriff’s Office had responded to a request by ICE agents to learn Mr. Tax-Gomez’s release date. The agents showed up at the jail, where custody of Mr. Tax-Gomez was transferred at a secure area inside the jail.
According to ICE spokesperson James Schwab, Mr. Tax-Gomez has also used the last name Oliveros-Cano. He was using that name when he was previously arrested in July 2003 by border patrol agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency after he attempted to illegally enter the U.S., Mr. Schwab said.
Mr. Tax-Gomez was arrested on suspicion of several acts of sexual assault after three alleged victims, all female, reported the alleged incidents to the police.
According to Mr. Wagstaffe, the three alleged victims were attendees at the church and were ages 13, 15 and 17 at the time of the alleged assaults.
The assaults allegedly took place at the church facility, in the church office and at a small house next to the church between September 2011 and May 2015, he said.
Mr. Tax-Gomez has been charged by the District Attorney’s Office with seven felony counts: several counts of digital penetration in addition to sexual battery and child molestation, he said.
According to Mr. Wagstaffe, Mr. Tax-Gomez remains in federal custody for now, but his office plans to ask for an increase in bail so that he returns to county custody to continue the prosecution process. Mr. Tax-Gomez’s bail had previously been set at $100,000. His next court date is Tuesday, July 11.
Yesterday, Tax-Gomez appeared before a judge and pleaded not guilty. SF-Gate reports:
A Menlo Park pastor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to allegations that he molested three minors in the church office between 2011 and 2015, according to San Mateo County prosecutors.
Victor Tax-Gomez, also known as Ever Oliveros-Cano, was a pastor at Greater Friendship Baptist Church where the victims’ families were members of the congregation, prosecutors said.
Two of the victims were sisters and the third was a friend. Their ages at the time of the alleged offenses were 15, 17 and 13.
Tax-Gomez allegedly committed the crimes while “claiming to be praying with or cleansing the victims,” District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
“It’s always a more egregious offense when one takes advantage of a position of trust,” Wagstaffe said. “That’s a very significant violation.”
A March 1, 2018 Palo Alto Online report states that Tax-Gomez pleaded no contest and will be sentenced on April 13, 2018:
An East Palo Alto man who was the pastor of a Menlo Park church has pleaded no contest to felonies tied to sexual battery and molestation of three teenage girls in his parish.
The plea comes on the condition of eight years in state prison.
Ever Oliveros-Cano, 50, also known as Victor Elizandro Tax-Gomez, was arrested last June on suspicion of sexually molesting teens who attended the church he led as pastor, El Senor Justicia Nuestra Church, located in the 1300 block of Chilco Street in Menlo Park. The church leases space from Greater Friendship Baptist Church.
According to prosecutors, Oliveros-Cano sexually molested, on separate occasions, three teenage girls – two sisters and a friend – who were 13, 15, and 17 at the time. The crimes allegedly occurred while Oliveros-Cano claimed to be praying with or “cleansing” them, at the church office and a small house next to the church.
Two years later, one of the victims reported the crimes to a therapist, who then reported the information to the Menlo Park Police Department.
Oliveros-Cano was initially charged with seven felonies: several counts of digital penetration in addition to sexual battery and child molestation and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He was previously arrested by border patrol agents in July 2003 after attempting to illegally enter the U.S., according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson James Schwab.