Pembroke Pines youth pastor accused of sexually abusing minor, false imprisonment

Pastor threatens to reveal victim's undocumented status

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A Pembroke Pines man who served as a youth pastor at a local church was arrested Thursday on multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor and false imprisonment.

Luis Clarke, 38, allegedly began a coercive sexual relationship with the child in March 2016 when she was 16 years old. According to the teenager, the abuse continued through March 2017.

An investigation by the Pembroke Pines Police Department found that during one of the sexual battery incidents at the suspect's residence, a 15-year-old boy witnessed the abuse inside the home.

When Clarke learned about the boy's presence, he turned on the home's alarm system so that neither minor could leave the residence, police said.

After taking Clarke into custody, he admitted to several of the crimes which had occurred in Pembroke Pines and other South Florida cities, police said.

Clarke was arrested on 20 counts of sexual battery, two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of promoting sexual performance by a child and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition.

He appeared in court Friday morning and was ordered held in lieu of a $660,000 bond. 

Because Clarke was a youth pastor at Abraza tu Sueño Church before it closed in 2018, police are asking parents with children who attended the church and are concerned about possible involvement with Clarke to contact them immediately.

About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.