Papers Detail Rape Case

Pastor Accused Of Assaults On Girl, 11, Who Gave Birth

Hartfort Courant/July 8, 2006
By Matt Burgard

Modesto Reyes, the pastor at a Hartford Pentecostal church, was driving an 11-year-old girl home from a church event last summer when he allegedly parked the van near an empty loading dock, got in the back seat of the van and took his clothes off, according to court documents released Friday.

The pastor then allegedly lifted up her skirt, pulled down the girl's underwear and held her down as he forced her to have intercourse with him, the girl told detectives.

It was the first of four times that Reyes, 52, sexually assaulted the girl between August and December 2005, the records say. Though the first incident happened in the church van, the girl told police that the other three incidents happened in Reyes's office at the Iglesia De Dios, Cristo Te Llama, church on Broad Street.

Nine months after the first assault, the girl was in a bed at the maternity ward at Hartford Hospital, talking to police detectives. She told them she had just had the pastor's baby boy, the records say. Subsequent DNA tests, authorities say, showed with more than 99 percent certainty that Reyes was the father of the baby.

Reyes was arrested June 22 and charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault. He is being held with bail set at $750,000 and is to appear at Superior Court in Hartford Tuesday. A public defender is expected to be assigned to Reyes's case during the hearing.

The newly released details of Reyes' arrest are contained in the affidavit police prepared to obtain a warrant in the case. The affidavit describes the four times that Reyes is accused of forcing the girl, whose family were members of his church, to have intercourse with him.

Police first became aware of the situation May 22, when they received a call from the principal at a local elementary school about a student who reported being sexually assaulted by her pastor, the records say.

The girl, who is identified in the records as Jane Doe, told police that Reyes first forced himself on her in August 2005 after driving children home from a church function in a van used to transport church members, the records say. After dropping off all the other children, the girl told police, Reyes drove her to a lot near an empty loading dock on Ledyard Street, where he sexually assaulted her without using a condom, the records say.

A month later, as the church was marking a "fasting day" in which worshipers give up eating for a day to show their devotion, Reyes called the girl into his office and told her he was suffering from heart problems, the records say. He then locked the door and asked her to sit in a soft-cushioned seat, where he again lifted her skirt and forced her to have intercourse, the records say.

Reyes, records allege, would tell the girl he was suffering from heart problems as a ruse to get her to come to his office at the church.

In October, Reyes telephoned the girl at her home and told her he was sick and needed her to come to his office, the records say. The girl told detectives she felt bad for Reyes because he was crying, so she went to the church, the records say.

But when she got to his office, the girl told detectives, Reyes was waiting for her with his pants off. She told detectives she realized the true reason he called, and began crying as she lowered herself in the same chair and Reyes again assaulted her, the records say.

The girl told detectives the final assault happened over the weekend of Christmas, when she allegedly received a cell phone call from Reyes in which he again told her he was sick and in pain and believed he was having a heart attack, the records say.

Again, the girl told detectives, she ran to the church, only to find Reyes laying on the same chair in his office, apparently asleep, the records say. When she tried to wake him, the records say, Reyes began crying and pretended to have a heart attack, and then tried to lift up her skirt. Although she tried to stop him by grabbing his hands and telling him to stop, the girl told detectives, Reyes managed to again remove her underwear and force himself on her, the records say.

Officials at the girl's school became concerned when they noticed that she had gained a significant amount of weight, the records say.

Hartford police have said they believe Reyes may have victimized other girls in his church, but have not elaborated.

Last month, detectives obtained DNA samples from Reyes as well as the girl and the baby. The results established that Reyes is the boy's father to a degree of certainty of over 99 percent, the records say. The baby remains in the custody of the girl's family, the records say.

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