Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 9:52 a.m.
A pastor was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting five boys in his Lake Forest apartment.
Oscar D. Perez Perez, a 69-year-old Lake Forest man, was found guilty by a jury of 22 felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, four felony counts of lewd acts on a child, and sentencing enhancement allegations for lewd acts against multiple victims.
Perez faces a maximum sentence of 330 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration at his Sept. 14 sentencing in Santa Ana'a Central Justice Center.
Perez was a self-professed apostolic pastor and bishop at Iglesia Antigua Católica in Laguna Hills. He met his five victims through the congregation, which operates out of rented space at St. George's Episcopalian Church, and gained their trust by befriending their families and having the boys assist with church services.
Between 2007 and 2011, Perez sexually assaulted the five victims one or more times, starting when the boys were 9 to 15 years old. All of the sexual assaults occurred while the victims were visiting or sleeping over at the defendant's apartment, authorities said.
The sexual assault against the victims included "sodomy, oral copulation, sexual penetration, touching of the victim's penis and/or buttocks, kissing, and hugging," according to authorities.
Sometime after the sexual assault of John Doe No. 1, the victim told his mother about the abuse and she reported it to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. A subsequent investigation led to the discovery of John Doe No. 2.
Perez was arrested and charged for the first two victims in September, 2011. Based on continued investigations and media coverage, the Sheriff's Department discovered three more John Does, and Perez was charged by the Orange County District Attorney's office for the additional sex crimes in January.
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