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24 more counts filed against pastor accused of lewdness with minors

Updated January 10, 2020 - 12:54 pm

Twenty-four additional felony counts have been filed against a local pastor who was arrested last month after a minor came forward about alleged sexual abuse “that took place over several years,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned.

The pastor, 44-year-old Bramwell Bernardo Retana, initially faced six counts of lewdness with a child under 14, two counts or luring a child with a computer to engage in a sexual act, and one count each of first-degree kidnapping of a minor and child abuse. He was arrested Dec. 20.

Seven days later, a second case against the pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Oasis De Paz, located at 2020 Michael Way, was filed in Las Vegas Justice Court. Records show he now faces 13 more counts of lewdness with a child under 14, 10 more counts of first-degree kidnapping of a minor and one count of preventing or dissuading the report of a crime.

Details of the additional 24 counts were not immediately available Friday, although the Metropolitan Police Department previously said detectives believe that, because of Retana’s position at the church, there may be more unidentified victims.

Court records indicate that authorities have identified more than one victim between the two cases. After his arrest, the pastor, who appears to go by his middle name, posted bond on the condition that he stays away from “all the victims’ addresses” and “has no contact with minors.”

On Jan. 3, according to the records, Retana surrendered his bond. He was back in custody at the Clark County Detention Center as of Friday. A preliminary hearing in both cases is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Attempts to reach Retana have been unsuccessful, and his attorney, Ryan Helmick, declined to comment Friday.

Originally from Costa Rica, Retana was ordained in 2002 as a licensed minister in Phoenix.

He and his wife founded the church, which started in their living room, in March 2004, according to the church’s website. They have a son together.

The church is described on its website as “a place to get closer to God, in which we transmit love, hope and peace in an atmosphere of adoration and companionship.”

A photo of Retana with young children is posted on the church website, next to a quote that reads, “Transform Lives, Families and Communities through the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ.”

Anyone with information about Retana, or anyone who believes he or she may have been a victim of abuse, may contact Metro’s juvenile sexual assault division at 702-828-3421. Anonymous tips may be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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