Glendale pastor sought in alleged sexual assault of minor at hotel

Authorities are searching for a Glendale pastor they suspect sexually assaulted a minor Wednesday night at a Covina hotel room.

Douglas Rivera is suspected of driving to the Vanllee Hotel and Suites just after 8 p.m., where he allegedly spied on two minors in a room. Rivera, a 40-year-old resident of Baldwin Park, masturbated in his vehicle as he watched the minors, according to the Covina Police Department.

Police said Rivera had masturbated while watching the two minors. He exited the truck and stood outside of their hotel window pretending to be on the phone for more than 30 minutes before he walked through the hotel.

He then got out of his vehicle and stood outside the hotel room window, where he pretended to be on his phone, police said. After about 30 minutes, Rivera allegedly went inside the hotel and forced his way into the room where the minors were staying.

Covina police said the minors, reported by KTLA-TV to be part of a tourist group from China, opened the door for him thinking he was their chaperon.

The man, identified by police as Rivera, drove through the hotel’s parking lot until he saw a lit room with drapes open and then parked his truck to face the interior of the room, police said.

He assaulted one of the minors and then fled in his automobile, authorities said.

Rivera, a 40-year-old pastor, was seen on security cameras driving through the Vanllee Hotel and Suites parking lot – located in Covina which is east of Downtown Los Angeles – before stopping outside a lit room with drapes open, according to the Covina Police Department.

VIDEO: ‘Peeping tom’ accused of sexually assaulting teen Chinese exchange student is a Southern California pastor

Rivera is described as bald, having a stocky build with hair around his ears, a short beard and glasses. He was last seen wearing a tan or brown suit and a blue-and-white striped shirt.

Douglas Rivera Covina Police Department Karen Mizoguchi February 09, 2018 11:13 PM Police are searching for Douglas Rivera of Baldwin Park, California, who allegedly forced his way into a young girl’s hotel room and sexually assaulted her.

He was driving a dark-colored late model Dodge 4500 Ram pickup truck with a flat bed and a large metal ramp.

Rivera is listed as a pastor of God’s Gypsy Christian Church, which worships at Glendale City Church.

Police continued to hunt for the pastor of a Glendale church wanted for questioning in the sexual assault of a minor at a Covina hotel, one day after the suspect proclaimed his innocence in a video shot while on the lam, and said he plans to turn himself in Wednesday.

“I did not do nothing wrong,” Douglas Rivera said in a video apparently shot with a cell phone and posted Friday night on Instagram.

The man was described as having a stocky build, balding with hair around his ears and a short beard. He was wearing a tan/brown suit with a blue and white striped shirt and prescription glasses.

“I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Something happened in that hotel, and that’s the simple answer,” Rivera said in video obtained by ABC7. The station spoke with Rivera on the phone, but police said the suspect has not reached out to them.

“I’ve just finished with my lawyer,” Rivera says in the video. “I am going to jail on Wednesday, with the lawyer, to submit myself so they could continue their investigation. There is absolutely no truth to that. No matter what you see on the Instagram or the TV, there is no truth to it.”

Covina police Lt. Trevor Gaumer told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that media images of the suspect led to numerous calls from people who are part of or associated with God’s Gypsy Christian Church of Los Angeles.

The 40-year-old suspect then tearfully asks people to keep him in prayer.

Douglas Rivera was named as a person of interest in the assault, which was reported at 8:08 p.m. Wednesday at Vanllee Hotel and Suites at 1211 E. Garvey St., according to the Covina Police Department.

Authorities were seen at Rivera’s Baldwin Park home towing the truck, a Dodge 4500 Ram, that he was seen riding in when the alleged assault was reported. Police said the truck had been painted a different color.

Covina Police Lt. Trevor Gaumer told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that media images of the suspect led to numerous calls from people who are part of or associated with God’s Gypsy Christian Church of Los Angeles.

As the investigation progressed, and the offender’s image was spread through the media, Covina police began receiving a flood of phone calls from members and associates of the God’s Gypsy Christian Church of Los Angeles, who said they recognized the man pictured in the surveillance images as Pastor Douglas Rivera of the Glendale church, according to Gaumer.

The callers said they believed the man depicted in surveillance video and still shots was Rivera, the Glendale church’s pastor, Gaumer told The Tribune.

The assault was reported at 8:08 p.m. Wednesday at Vanllee Hotel and Suites at 1211 E. Garvey St., according to the Covina Police Department. The suspect drove through the hotel’s parking lot until he saw a lit room with drapes open and then parked his truck to face the interior of the room, police said.

Two teenaged girls visiting from China on a field trip were inside of the hotel room.

The suspect masturbated while watching the two girls, police said. He exited the truck and stood outside of their hotel window pretending to be on the phone for more than 30 minutes before he walked through the hotel and forced his way into the room once the girls opened the door believing it was their chaperone, police said.

The suspect assaulted one of the girls and fled in his truck, police said. The case was described as an “oral copulation investigation.”

The suspect was described as having a stocky build, balding with hair around his ears and a short beard. He was wearing a tan/brown suit with a blue and white striped shirt and prescription glasses.

Anyone with information regarding the assault or Rivera’s whereabouts was urged to call (626) 384-5621 to speak with Covina police Detective Ramirez or the watch commander at (626) 384-5665.

Anonymous tops can be submitted through Crime Stoppers at (800) 222- TIPS (8477).


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