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Suffolk Daily Voice serves Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, North Fork, Riverhead, Smithtown & The Hamptons

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Police & Fire

Long Island Youth Pastor Accused Of Sexually Abusing Minor; Police Say More Victims Possible

Jesse Vargas
Jesse Vargas Photo Credit: Nassau County Police

A Long Island youth pastor has been accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl, police said.

A joint investigation between the Nassau County Special Victims Squad, the Hazelwood Police Department in Missouri, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Crimes Against Children Division led police to identify Seaford resident Jesse Vargas as a possible sexual abuser who had been reported years earlier.

Police said that in 2011, Vargas, acting as a youth pastor at the Incredible Journey to Christianity retreat in Michigan, met a 13-year-old girl. Two years later, in June 2013, Vargas arranged to have the now 15-year-old to his house in Seaford, where they engaged in sexual acts.

Vargas, age 37, was arrested at his Seamans Neck Road residence at approximately 3 a.m. on Friday, March 19, and charged with sexual abuse, criminal sexual act, and endangering the welfare of a child. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday afternoon in Mineola.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have been a victim of a similar incident to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS, the Nassau County Special Victims Squad at (516) 573-4022, or call 911.

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