An area pastor allegedly used Scripture to “lure” a teenage boy into submitting to sexual touching, an arrest affidavit states.
Jeremiah Quintero, 42, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and held on a $60,000 bond. Formal charges have not been filed.
Quintero, identified in the affidavit as a pastor at Glenwood Apostolic Church, as well as a pastor in Delta and Grand Junction, repeatedly denied having subjected the 14-year-old to sexual contact. The affidavit notes that Quintero’s interview was not recorded, because of an equipment failure.
A second officer witnessed the interview, however, Delta Police Chief Robert Thomas said.
The alleged abuse took place at Quintero’s Delta residence, where the boy’s mother would drop him off for overnight visits. The youth identified an office in the home as the location where inappropriate touching and comments allegedly occurred.
“I feel bad for this kid, and for any kid who has allegedly been molested,” said Thomas.
According to allegations in the affidavit, Quintero showed the youth explicit videos to get him aroused, and induced sexual conduct.
The youth told a forensic interviewer that he did not want the contact, but “Jeremias lured me in with Scriptures,” Delta Police Detective James Nunn wrote. “(Boy) stated Jeremias would confuse him by telling him Scriptures that he didn’t understand and explain what he was doing was OK because of the Scriptures, but then told him he could not (perform the acts) at home or tell others because it was a sin.”
The youth eventually told his mother about the alleged abuse and provided explicit details to investigators who later found items of evidentiary value in Quintero’s home, per the affidavit.
The boy’s mother also told investigators about explicit Facebook messages between Quintero and her son that she found after becoming suspicious.
The account, listed under Quintero’s church, was closed by the time police interviewed him. Quintero later reportedly said he had closed it because others were “liking” things contrary to the church’s teachings and it was showing up on his Facebook page. When confronted with some of the messages the boy had alleged, Quintero’s voice grew high and he said officers were taking jokes out of context, Nunn wrote.
When questioned, Quintero reportedly said he was “having a hard time wrapping my mind around this.”
Per the affidavit, Quintero said the boy, whom he met during “home studies” time at individual church members’ homes, was troubled and often confused.
Quintero also denied having shown the youth pornography.
“I asked Jeremias if I would find pornographic material on his computer when I searched it and he asked ‘Is it a crime for me to have pornographic movies on my computer?’” Nunn wrote in the affidavit.
Nunn told him that it was if he showed them to underaged people. Per the document, Quintero replied: “Oh.”
Nunn alleged that Quintero later said he had twice touched the child while explaining how to relieve some pain.
Nunn notes that the DPD’s equipment failed to record the conversation.
Another detective witnessed the interview, Thomas said. “We’re going to be transparent. That’s what happened,” the chief said.
“We don’t have anything to hide.”