Former Church Volunteer Faces More Molestation, Sodomy Charges

Cesar Pastrana of Kennesaw faces an additional three counts of sodomy and another charge of aggravated child molestation.

The former NorthStar Church youth volunteer accused of molesting a boy during a church lock-in now faces an additional charge of aggravated child molestation and three charges of aggravated sodomy, Cobb County jail records show.

Twenty-five-year-old Cesar Pastrana of Kennesaw was arrested Feb. 10 and charged with molesting a juvenile during "Thrive," a church lock-in held Feb. 3 to Feb. 4 at a private Cobb County residence. Police said he also confessed to molesting two others in prior incidents.

Jail records show the sodomy charges and aggravated child molestation charge, which were filed Monday, correspond to an offense date of October 2011.

This is in addition to the child molestation charge relating to the February lock-in, as well as the two counts of aggravated child molestation with listed offense dates of August 2011.

Pastrana allegedly physically injured a 14-year-old boy while molesting him at Pastrana's home last fall, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Pastrana was also banned from Barber Middle School after volunteering there about two years ago, Cobb police confirmed.

Cobb County Schools spokesman Doug Goodwin would not comment on the specifics of the middle school incident but told Patch, "We can, however, say with complete confidence that the school district has handled all aspects of this matter appropriately and can share information reflecting that at an appropriate time."

"We are aware of the incident with Barber Middle School, but due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation of Cesar Pastrana, we are not at liberty to comment further," said NorthStar Church spokesman Randy Elster.

In an earlier statement from the church, Rev. Mike Linch said the church immediately released Pastrana from their ministry upon hearing the lock-in accusation. Linch also said the church conducted a background check on Pastrana and that church policy prohibits volunteers from being alone with a child "on NorthStar time."

According to Pastrana's Facebook page, which has since been taken down, he was a 2007 graduate of North Cobb High School. Facebook albums include pictures of him with young boys at church events and other outings.

Pastrana is being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.

Anyone with information about this or any other case involving Pastrana should contact the Cobb County Police Department's Crimes Against Children Unit at 770-801-3470.

Tammy Holliday Gearl February 21, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Lock hia a$$ away and dont let him out. He will only do it again!
anonnnn February 21, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I know him , he seemed kind .. It was a shock to all of us at Northstar. Thankfully, most people stayed at Northstar & we are praying for the church. . Me & my friends were doing the investigations on our bus on his Facebook page -__- now its down. But I do realize it said (in his notes page) he had 'sexual temptations' & he had to over come it by Bible verses. So everyone should have known he had these issues.. We could of avoided this. It could have happened to anyone. I was at the lock-in & we even talked to him.
heavy hearted February 24, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I have been reading these updates... and it saddens me .... we trust our community church to take care of our youth... this church has a wonderful youth program .... my confusion is with the lead pastor who was hit hard in the face with a big RED flag about this youth leader 2 years ago -- being banned from that middle school was VERY Clear he did not need to be working with youth.... he needed help from this pastor... not given full reign of the church middle school boys.... and how he now goes on daily as if he did all he could and not feel he owes his congregation the truth of the signs he missed two years ago...makes me sick. it is a good church... I don't want to see any church go through troubles.... but this pastor needs to be upfront and honest with his congregation and he needs to be makeing more of an effort to reach out to parents of youth that have attended his church functions for the last four years.my son attended camps there and he was a middle school student and I have not heard one word. I have friends there and they are saddened how this has been handled by the leaders of the church... if it had been his young son receiving the text messages from Cesar would he have deemed it a red flag that he should not be with the youth when the middle school brought this to his attention? Be honest with your church... let them know what was in the letter and that you are sorry you have let the church down. you owe your church the whole story.


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