Tempe police have spent the past 6 months investigating 48-year-old Mario Rodriguez-Ramirez, a man who was once a pastor.
Police said the sexual abuse began in 2015, when the little girl was just 9 years old and he was the pastor of her Church.
Rodriguez-Ramirez took the victim and two other children to Kiwanis Park in Tempe, where he allegedly hugged and kissed the girl inappropriately when she reached the ground after going down the slide, police say.
The second alleged assault happened behind a Home Depot in Tempe.
The girl told police that Pastor Rodriguez-Ramirez took her with him to buy materials for a renovation, but he assaulted her in his car after he parked in the back of the store.
“There was a lot of grooming that occurred prior to the first act,” said Detective Greg Bacon from the Tempe Police Department. “At this time, we don’t believe there are additional victims.”
He allegedly sexually abused her again in May 2020, and was eventually arrested, police say.
Rodriguez-Ramirez was a pastor at Arcadia Park Baptist Church, when he spent time allegedly grooming the young girl to sexually abuse her.