Hillsborough Co. pastor charged with sexually molesting 3 females
BRANDON FL (WFLA) -
The pastor of a Brandon church has been arrested for the alleged sexual molestation of three females, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports.
Francisco Rios, 44, of Brandon, was arrested at his residence Friday. Rios is the pastor of Casa De Amor Church, located at 117 West Windhorst Road in Brandon.
HCSO says the victims are ages 12, 17 and 43-years old. Deputies say all the incidents happened at the church.
According to the 17-year-old victim, the sexual abuse occurred approximately 15 different times beginning in 2011.
Deputies say Rios told the teen he was doing this because he loved her as a Pastor and she was not to tell anyone because he could get in trouble.
In April of 2013, Rios touched the 43-year-old victim inappropriately, according to HCSO. He convinced her it was a way to cure a medical condition.
Additionally, HCSO says Rios touched the 12-year-old victim inappropriately approximately two times a week for the past year.
The police investigation was initiated after the three victims talked to each other and and discovered that each of them had been touched by Rios.
Rios was arrested Friday on a warrant issued by the State Attorney's Office and has been charged with three counts Lewd and Lascivious molestation.
Crystal Haytasingh lives in the same subdivison as Rios. After learning of his arrest she said, "I am baffled, I don't believe it, it is hard to imagine, it comes as a complete shock."
The owner of a hair salon next to Rios' church said, "It just blows me away, because this is a pastor, he is supposed to help people not hurt people, and he is supposed to lead us to the Lord, not lead us away."