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Tag: Pastor David Helbling

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor David Helbling Accused of Sexually Assaulting a Minor

pastor david helbling

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

David Helbling, a pastor at The Blessing Center First Assembly of God in Moreno Valley, California, stands accused of sexually assaulting a minor.

Audacy reports:

A 78-year-old pastor accused of sexually assaulting a young girl pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple felony charges.

David Lee Helbling of Moreno Valley was arrested last month following a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigation.

Helbling is charged with oral copulation of a child under 10 years old, abduction of a minor, forcible lewd acts on a child, perpetrating three or more sexual acts on a minor and a sentence-enhancing allegation of bodily injury during a sexual assault.

The defendant was arraigned before Superior Court Judge Gail O’Rane, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for April 9 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Helbling is being held on $2 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Martinez, deputies were informed at the end of January of an alleged attack on the victim, identified in court documents only as “E.A.,” in the 23000 block of Hemlock Avenue, near Pigeon Pass Road.

The ensuing investigation led to the identification of Helbling, a local minister, as the alleged perpetrator.

Martinez said a search warrant was obtained and served at the defendant’s residence, where “evidence related to the crime was collected, and Helbling was taken into custody without incident.”

Court papers indicated the defendant committed the alleged offenses all on the same day — Jan. 30.

“It is alleged that in connection with the commission of the offenses, Helbling … kidnapped the victim, and the movement of the victim substantially increased the risk of harm,” according to the criminal complaint. “The defendant resided in the same home, and (he) had recurring access (to her) with the intent of arousing, appealing to and gratifying (his) lust, passions and sexual desires.”

No other details were disclosed, including the house of worship where Helbling has presided.

The charges carry a potential maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser