Ex-Pastor in California Accused of Sexually Abusing Seven Children

A former pastor in Southern California was arrested last week and charged with 11 felonies related to his alleged sexual abuse of seven children, local news station KTLA reports. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office charged John Rodgers McFarland with “seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under 14 years old, and four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor between 14 and 15.” McFarland, who was arrested last Thursday, is suspected of abusing children between 2003 and 2016 while he was serving as a pastor in Orange County and San Diego churches. According to prosecutors, the children were between the ages of 5 and 15. He was reportedly arrested previously in December, after a girl reported the alleged abuse to Fountain Valley Police Department. Police said that while investigating the girl’s claim, they uncovered additional “evidence that McFarland abused other victims.” The 67-year-old now faces up to 179 years in prison if convicted. His bail was reportedly set for $2 million.