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Pastor responds to sex assault accusations against parishioner

Pastor responds to sex accusations against parishioner

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The pastor of a Colorado Springs church responds to the sex assault accusations against one of his parishioners.

Antonio Mendoza, 34, was arrested Tuesday. Police said he had sexual contact with a minor from his church, the Iglesia de Jesucristo Pentecostal. Court documents said it happened in January during a sleepover and that Mendoza admitted he had sexual contact with the girl.

"He failed God, he failed his family, he failed his church and he failed this community," said Sigfredo Ayala, the church's pastor.

Mendoza's wife defends him and insists he's not guilty.

"I've had a good husband," Maria Luna said. "My kids have had a good father, who has never let us down."

Ayala said Luna has to face the truth. He said the congregation loved Mendoza and his family, but he wants to make one thing clear.

"We're not going to tolerate any behavior that is not appropriate," he said. "We will condemn this and we hope the justice will do their job."

He said he told parishioners to talk to their children, so that if there are other victims, they will come forward. He hopes others will learn from this situation.

"I ask the community and the other churches that they be alert," he said. "Something can happen in their own churches and their own communities. Be careful with your families."

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