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Pastor arrested by Escondido Police on suspicion of child molestation

Posted at 4:23 PM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-29 10:11:56-05

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - Escondido Police arrested a pastor who allegedly molested a young girl, authorities announced Friday afternoon.

John Rodgers McFarland was taken into custody on Dec. 18 by the Escondido Police Department. The arrest occurred in Fullerton, where McFarland lived and worked. Escondido Police say the alleged incident happened in Escondido several years ago while McFarland was visiting family in the area.

He has been charged with two counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14.

Since 2014, McFarland has been the head pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton, according to the Fountain Valley Police Department.

Before that, he had served as the head of Fountain Valley United Methodist church since 1988. He also was a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach from 2009 to 2014.

According to the Fountain Valley Police Department, there may be other victims abused during his time in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach.

Anyone with information should call Detective Scott of the Fountain Valley Police Department at (714) 593-4480.