Filipino-American accused of child abuse
AMERICAN CANYON, California—Police on Wednesday arrested a Filipino-American in this quiet city of Solano County on suspicion of child molestation.
Police identified the man as John Edward Gamboa, 38, a Filipino-American Canyon resident. His arraignment was set last Thursday.
In a report filed by Lieutenant Mike Daley of the Benicia Police Department, Gamboa was a youth pastor at a Solano County church and the minor female victim from Benicia was one of his Bible study students. The report did not identify the church in order to protect the victim, but it confirmed it is not one located in Benicia.
According to the report, Gamboa and the alleged victim had known each other for some time, but had begun exchanging text messages in February this year. The child’s parents soon discovered the communication and, through the church, were able to speak to Gamboa to warn him about the inappropriateness of his behavior.
In July, apparently after the messaging stopped, the two began texting again, the report said. Then in August, Gamboa sneaked into the victim’s Benicia home, where the two engaged in kissing and inappropriate touching.
Five days later, the report continued, the two met again at a business event in Fairfield. The two had exchanged text messages for them to meet in a secluded area in the venue, where, again Gamboa kissed the victim and inappropriately touched the child.
The report said the victim’s mother eventually checked her daughter’s phone and found text messages that appeared inappropriate. The victim confided to her parents what had happened and they immediately went to the Benicia Police Department to file a formal complaint.
Gamboa was immediately contacted by Benicia Police Officer Aldo Serrano for him to come to the station and provide a statement. The report said Gamboa arrived at the police department around 9 p.m. Tuesday, August 30, and provided a statement admitting to the allegations. He was thereupon arrested without incident and booked into the Solano County Jail on the above charges.
“This illustrates the importance of parents monitoring the behavior of their children and, when necessary, the information on their children’s cell phones,” aley said.
“Sexual predators who have gained the trust of a child or minor have found texting an easy way to engage young children in conversations at any time of the day or night,” he added. “We’re thankful the parents came forward in this situation to help us immediately eliminate the contact that had developed in this case.”
Unconfirmed reports gathered by FilAm Star in Solano County said that Gamboa, married with four children, originally lived in Southern California before moving to the Bay Area.
The same unverified reports indicated that he joined the church as youth pastor when he was laid off from his job as an IT specialist in an information technology consulting firm on the East Bay. With report from Eduardo Yra