Man pleads guilty to abuse
by Kim Isaza
September 22, 2012 12:53 AM | 1287 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Cesar A. Pastrana, a former volunteer at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, pleaded

guilty Friday morning to aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and child molestation and was sentenced to life in prison.

Pastrana, 25, will have to serve 30 years before he is eligible for parole. If he is ever paroled, Pastrana will be deported. Pastrana was born in Mexico and is not a U.S. citizen.

Cobb Police arrested Pastrana in February after he was accused of molesting a 14-year-old boy just after midnight Feb. 4 during a NorthStar Church “lock-in” event held at a private home.

In May, a Cobb grand jury returned a 15-count indictment, charging Pastrana with four counts of aggravated child molestation, one count of aggravated sodomy, and 10 counts of child molestation involving nine boys younger than 16.

According to the indictment, the acts began as far back as October 2007. The most recent occurred days before his arrest in February.

Superior Court Judge Reuben Green presided over the plea and sentencing at 9 a.m. Friday.

Assistant District Attorney Chuck Boring said families of at least four victims were in the courtroom Friday morning, but all were too upset to address the court. Pastrana also said little, Boring said.

Two of the victims were related to Pastrana and lived in the same house with him. The seven others all met Pastrana through the church, Boring said.

There was no physical evidence of the crimes, Boring said, but Pastrana admitted to numerous acts, even more than what the children had alleged.

Pastrana’s court-appointed attorney, Louis Turchiarelli, could not be reached for comment late Friday.

NorthStar Church is a large congregation that meets on Blue Springs Road in Kennesaw, not far from North Cobb High School.

Pastor Mike Linch was unavailable for comment on Friday.

But Communications Pastor Randy Elster told the Journal: “From the time we first learned of the allegations of wrongdoing by Cesar Pastrana, who was a volunteer with NorthStar, we have fully cooperated with law enforcement and we are grateful for the work of the authorities in this case to bring it to some sort of resolution.

“Our prayers continue to be with the families of those affected as they continue the healing process.”

About 2,200 people attend NorthStar’s Sunday services, Elster said.

In May, two of the victim’s families filed civil suits against the church seeking unspecified damages for Pastrana’s actions.

The cases were filed in Clayton County, where the church’s registered agent is located.
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