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Henderson man accused of sexually assaulting girl in foster care

Updated March 2, 2019 - 8:02 pm

A Henderson man was arrested last month after a girl in foster care told Las Vegas detectives she was afraid to report the man, her former therapist, for raping her over a four-year period, according to an arrest report.

On Feb. 19, Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested 43-year-old Marcelo Cristian Pastor at his Henderson home, dispatch records and Pastor’s arrest report show.

He was arrested after a girl in foster care told her social worker that Pastor had raped and sexually assaulted her multiple times from 2010 to 2014, starting when she was 8, the report said.

Pastor faces seven counts of sexual assault against a child under age 14, one count of kidnapping and two counts of lewdness with a child under 14, court records show.

The girl told police Pastor went by the name Marcelo Gellert, and he also worked as an “illusionist,” the report said.

Detectives learned of the abuse, the report said, after the girl told her current social worker in March 2018. She initially didn’t want to talk to police but interviewed with detectives in April.

The girl told investigators that Pastor groped and raped her multiple times while he was working as her and her siblings’ psychological social rehabilitator. The children were placed in foster care after their father was arrested for sexually and physically abusing them, the report said.

“Marcelo had access to all of the children’s records and backgrounds and what they had gone through as victims of abuse by their father,” the report said.

At times, Pastor was the only person from the Department of Family Services with whom the girl was in contact, the report said. Pastor appears to have been hired by the department through an agency, the report said.

The girl told police some of the assaults happened when she was alone with her therapist in her foster parents’ home. She said he also took her away from the home, including multiple times when he took her to his apartment and raped her, the report said.

She said that “he would tell her over and over it was a dream or just a ‘game,’ ” the report said. “She was always too afraid to say anything because she was a foster child and didn’t believe anyone would believe her.”

The girl told police that that Pastor gave her vodka and saki at his apartment when she was 10 before raping her. She said he gave her enough alcohol to make her drunk, the report said.

“She stated this happened at least two times every week,” the report said.

New social worker steps in

The abuse stopped when she received a new female social worker, who “did not think that was appropriate” for her to have a male psychological social rehabilitator, the girl told police.

The social worker stopped Pastor from “continuing in that capacity,” the report said.

Pastor tried to contact the girl afterward, one time asking for nude pictures, until she blocked his number, she told police.

The girl’s former foster parents, whom she lived with during most of the abuse, told police that a requirement of the foster system was that one parent had to be home with the children at all times. The only exception was the psychological social rehabilitator, the report said.

The former foster mother said Pastor took the children on “outings” that “were supposed to help the children integrate back into society since all of them had been traumatized by their biological parents,” the report said.

“This was all allowed by the state,” the report said.

Occasionally, the children would tell their foster parents that Pastor had taken them to a different location than what he told the parents, and sometimes he took them to his apartment to watch movies.

That, with three of the girl’s sisters seeming to “develop a ‘crush’ ” on Pastor, caused the foster parents to request another psychological social rehabilitator from the agency that employed Pastor, the report said.

Pastor attempted to contact the three sisters after the children received a female psychological social rehabilitator, the former foster parents told police.

Bail motion denied

Pastor didn’t respond to detectives’ attempts to contact him, the report said. An arrest warrant was issued in Las Vegas Justice Court on Dec. 26, court records show.

He was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on $50,000 bail, court records show.

A judge denied a motion from prosecutors to set Pastor’s bail at $150,000 with a condition of house arrest and no contact with minors.

Pastor was released from the jail after posting a surety bond on condition of high-level electronic monitoring. He is only allowed contact with his own children with the children’s mother present, court records show.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 21, court records show.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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