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Pastor arrested for sexual assault of a child

Members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force arrested a Buda man who works as an east Austin assistant pastor on indictments of sexual assault of a child in Hays and Nueces Counties.

Ruben Garcia, 59, of Buda, was arrested by the Task Force June 12 and was booked into the Hays County Jail. Garcia is being held on $300,000 bond. 

Garcia, who was on the run for the past two months, was the subject of an arrest warrant stemming from a 2015 sexual assault of a child investigation by the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.

A Hays County Grand Jury indicted Garcia in April on two separate counts of sexual assault of a child, along with one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact. Those indictments stemmed from an investigation that began in early 2016.

According to the release, Task Force officers established surveillance at the Betania Baptist Church on Tillery Street in east Austin. Garcia worked as an associate pastor at the church.

Officers identified Garcia in Buda and arrested him without incident in the 500 block of Torrinton Street.

According to a KXAN report, Garcia led the youth ministry at Bentania Baptist Church, attended summer camps as a counselor and allegedly invited youth to stay at his home.

The task force urges those who have reason to believe their children may have been encountered inappropriately to contact local law enforcement.

Members of the task force include the Buda and Kyle police departments, along with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Police and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

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