NJ--Abusive minister strikes again; Victims respond
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 5,2016
It’s heartbreaking that a fugitive child molesting New Jersey minister has apparently assaulted another youngster while his church colleagues do little or nothing to help law enforcement catch him or help warn other church members about him.
According to NJ.com, “Rev. Gregorio Martinez, a former Jersey City resident who grew up in the Dominican Republic, was convicted in February 2015 of molesting a 13-year-old boy he knew from his Union City church. He also is charged with sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault three young adults, ages 18 and 19.”
We call on the Assembly of United Christian Churches, a Pentecostal denomination based in the Bronx, to immediately suspend Martinez's preacher's license. We call on Pedro Matamoros, Enrique Osorio, Jessenia Zarate, and every church official and member – in New Jersey and Nicaragua - to use social media, church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements to warn others about Martinez and beg witnesses, victims and whistleblowers to contact secular authorities immediately. And we call on friends and family of Paula and Kelvin Martinez to step up efforts to persuade them to share what they know or suspect about Rev. Martinez with law enforcement.
We applaud Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez for pursuing Martinez and hope she and her staff will never give up this quest. We urge Suarez and Jersey City police to do all they can to charge someone with ignoring or concealing Martinez’ crimes (or obstructing justice, witness tampering, victim intimidation, evidence destruction or similar crime.) We also applaud Wilson Melendez and his youth minister, Jonathan Olavarria, who believed the victim and helped him report to law enforcement. Most of all, of course, we admire and appreciate the courage of the victim himself. We are grateful he found the strength to contact police and help prosecutors.
No matter what secular or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Fugitive molester accused of sexually abusing teen while on the run
By Mark Mueller and Enrique Lavin | NJ Advance Media, For NJ.com, July 05, 2016
An evangelical preacher wanted by authorities in New Jersey for molesting a teenage boy and for allegedly abusing three other young men has been accused by a parishioner of groping a teen in Nicaragua, where the fugitive had been in hiding, according to church officials there.
Gregorio Martinez, whose flight from justice was profiled in a special report by NJ Advance Media in May, allegedly groped a 15-year-old boy in Estelí, Nicaragua, earlier this year, said Pedro Matamoros, the pastor of the church where Martinez lived for about seven months.
Martinez, 48, left the city Feb. 1, after Matamoros learned of his past and confronted him, the pastor said. Later in February, the alleged victim's mother told . . .