Sun Valley Jehovah's Witness church usher pleads no contest to sex acts with underage boys

Los Angeles Daily News/September 12, 2013

By City News Service

Van Nuys -- A man who was an usher at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sun Valley pleaded no contest Thursday to sex-related counts involving three boys he met there.

Marcelo Lozano, 34, of Sun Valley, pleaded no contest to two counts of continuous sexual abuse and one count of oral copulation of a person under 14.

He is facing 30 years in state prison when he is sentenced Oct. 8 by Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Leslie Dunn.

Lozano is also expected to be ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life following his release from prison.

Lozano met the boys — who were 8 to 11 at the time — through the Jehovahs Witnesses Sun Valley Spanish Congregation, where he was an usher, according to Deputy District Attorney Rena Durrant.

He was arrested July 29 by the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood Division and has remained jailed since then.

The crimes happened between Jan. 1, 2006, and June 30, 2013.

Some of the crimes occurred at Lozano’s home in North Hollywood, where he lived at the time, along with other locations, according to the prosecutor. None of the crimes occurred at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Durrant said.

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