A former Sunday school teacher was arrested in Acworth, Georgia, for sexually abusing the children in his charge and making a video of at least one encounter, but the large number of illegal immigrants in the community is complicating the investigation.
Police say former Acworth Sunday school teacher Jonathan Martinez, 27, sexually molested at least one of his students in a church basement. Police officials added there may be others and noted they are also investigating an incident that may have occurred in 2013 when the suspect allegedly made a video of the attack.
Martinez was charged with “aggravated child molestation, enticing a child, sodomy and computer pornography.” According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Martinez would separate a young female” from the other children and take her to a separate room in the basement in order to molest the child out of view.
Police said they hope other students or their parents will come forward to bring to light other possible cases of molestation. That cooperation may not happen if the witnesses are illegal immigrants who fear being sent home by enforcement agencies.
The plea for witnesses is being used by advocates for illegal immigration as a rationale to stop the agencies’ enforcement of immigration law.
Carlos Garcia of the Cobb Immigration Alliance said the level of trust between the community and police has eroded because of recent repatriations. “After these immigration raids, people will think twice about talking to law enforcement,” Garcia told the media.
“A lot of people assume it’s the police looking for them and that’s not true and that actually makes a big damage to the improvements we’ve been making over the years,” Garcia added.
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