Jose Mendez Vasquez
Jose Mendez Vasquez
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A worship leader at several South Bay churches that specialize in Spanish masses has been charged with molesting a 4-year-old girl, police said Wednesday.

Jose Mendez Vazquez, 67, allegedly committed the act four years ago, Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said.

The victim, who is now 8 years old, recently told a friend what happened, and the friend informed Torrance police. Records show Vazquez was arrested Dec. 3.

The alleged crime, which involved fondling the girl, occurred near Vazquez's Torrance home, police said.

The District Attorney's Office charged Vazquez with two counts of committing lewd acts upon a child. He pleaded not guilty during his Dec. 26 arraignment at Torrance court.

Watt said that although the alleged crime did not involve any churches, Vazquez worked as a worship leader at several South Bay churches with Spanish-speaking congregations and might have had contact with children.

Police asked anyone with information about Vazquez to call detectives at 310-618-5571.

larry.altman@dailybreeze.com

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