Ex-Pastor Christopher Raymond Olague Found Guilty of Molesting Girl, Possessing Child Porn

Jurors agreed with prosecutors that former Buena Park Christian pastor Christopher Raymond Olague went from praying to preying--on an 8-year-old girl friend of his daughter and scores of other young children depicted in pornography on his computers and devices.

Tuesday's conviction sets the 43-year-old up for a possible sentence of 18 years and three months to life in prison at a hearing scheduled for Jan. 22.

Olague was found guilty of molestation, possessing more than 1,000 images of child porn, kidnapping the 8-year-old to commit child molestation and attempting to dissuade a witness from cooperating with authorities. The jury also found true a sentencing enhancement for kidnapping a victim during a molestation.

Christopher Raymond Olague, Pastor Accused of Molesting Girl, 8, and Having Child Porn That Included Female Relative, 6, Pleads Not Guilty

But jurors acquitted Olague of lewd acts on another victim as well as using a minor for sex acts. An enhancing allegation of multiple victims was denied. Charges related to a third alleged victim were dropped because she did not want to testify, according to Deputy District Attorney Lexie Elliott.

As the Weekly previously reported, Olague was pastor of Refuge Southland Church, 6711 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, when he was arrested in October 2011. The church's website at the time featured a photo of Olague, his wife of 14 years and their five daughters, who were then ages 6 to 25.

Olague phoned the 8-year-old victim on Oct. 5, 2011, and asked if she wanted to go with him and his daughter to Toys R Us. But when he showed up to pick up the friend, his daughter was not in the car. Olague insisted the nervous girl sit up front with him.

They drove by Toys R Us, which was closed, so they continued to a Huntington Beach park, where the girl was crying and scared by the time they parked, Elliott told jurors. Olague asked her if he could kiss her cheek and she refused. He said he wanted to hold her hand, but the girl said she didn't like to be touched. That's when Olague moved to unzip his pants.

He obviously wanted to be touched.

"She sees the top of his underwear now and she's terrified," Elliott said in court (hat tip to City News Service's Paul Anderson).

Olague rubbed her legs but backed off because she was "hysterical," according to the prosecutor.

The man of God gave the girl two $20 bills, which she refused before he insisted she take it, and then dropped her off at her home, warning her not to tell anyone. And the girl complied.

At first.

Olague's undoing came when he again called the girl on the phone. When she began to cry, her mother overheard her. When mom asked what was wrong, the girl spilled the beans. Now her parents got on the phone, to police.

Huntington Beach detectives directed the girl to make three "covert calls," as Elliott put it, to Olague as they listened in. Jurors heard a portion of a call in which Olague apologized for touching the girl's leg and promised, "I won't do that ever again." He also offered to pay her more money and advised her not to tell anyone lest he be in "really big trouble" and his daughter be hurt.

The investigation after Olague's Oct. 8, 2011, arrest uncovered other alleged victims, images of child erotica with scantily clad girls ages 8 to 10 and explicit photographs and multiple videos of child pornography on a laptop, home computer and USB device, Elliott told jurors.

Olague's defense? According to his attorney Mark Fredrick, Olague never exposed himself to the girl and while the laptop did belong to his client, the home computer was used by his wife, and some of the alleged explicit images were actually taken by a child.

Fredrick told jurors his client was "terribly over-charged," and in this sense he is correct: A conviction on all counts and enhancements could have sent Olague to state prison for more than 43 years.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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