Orange County pastor charged with molesting 7 children

SANTA ANA, Calif. — An Orange County pastor pleaded not responsible Monday to felony costs of molesting seven youngsters ages 5 to 15.

John Rodgers McFarland, who has been the top pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton since 2014, was arrested on a warrant Thursday charging him with seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14 and four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor 14 to 15 years previous.

Bail was set at $2 million for McFarland, who faces up to 179 years to life in prison if convicted, prosecutors stated. The 56-yr-previous Fullerton resident’s next scheduled courtroom date is a June 20 pretrial listening to on the West Justice Middle in Westminster.

McFarland’s lawyer, Michael J. Holmes, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The pastor is accused of molesting the youngsters between 2003 and 2017, based on the Orange County District Lawyer’s Office, which did not launch the genders of the alleged victims. Prosecutors also didn’t say the place the alleged molestations occurred, but the Fountain Valley Police Division is the lead company in the Orange County investigation.

McFarland can also be dealing with expenses in In San Diego County, the place he was arrested and charged in December with molesting a woman youthful than 14 between 2012 and 2013. The alleged molestation occurred in Escondido when he was visiting kin, stated Lt. Chris Lick of the Escondido Police Department.

McFarland is due in courtroom in San Diego June 18 for a pretrial hearing and July 9 for a preliminary hearing, based on Tanya Sierra, a spokeswoman for the D.A.’s workplace in San Diego County.

“We are nonetheless figuring out the result of our case in mild of the Orange County expenses,” she informed Metropolis News Service.

Orangethorpe church officials stated they might not touch upon the status of McFarland, who has also served as a volunteer chaplain for Fountain Valley police and firefighters.

In line with a web-based biography, McFarland grew up in North San Diego County, the place he was affiliated with San Marcos United Methodist Church. He graduated from the University of La Verne in 1974 and the Pacific Faculty of Religion in 1978, then served as an affiliate pastor at San Dieguito United Methodist Church for three years earlier than turning into pastor of the Calexico United Methodist Church in 1981.

McFarland was additionally a pastor at Surf Metropolis Church in Huntington Seashore between 2009 and 2014, and served as head pastor at Fountain Valley United Methodist Church for 26 years from 1988 to 2014.

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