MIAMI - A 43-year-old Miami church guitarist has been arrested after police said he molested five children in a church van.
Reniero Rodriguez faces multiple counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child.
According to an arrest warrant, Rodriguez molested five children between the ages of 6 and 10 last year while he was on the church van that would take parishioners to and from their homes.
The daughter of the church pastor told Miami police Detective Giojani Laureano that she saw two girls "twerking" in August 2017 and asked them where they learned to dance like that. The girls, ages 6 and 7, told her that Rodriguez "would make them dance at the church in this way." The girls also said that Rodriguez "touched them on their private parts" when he was in the church van with them.
According to the warrant, the pastor and his daughter alerted authorities and then confronted Rodriguez about it, telling him he was no longer welcome at the church.
When Laureano interviewed other girls at the church, they told him that Rodriguez had touched them on their private parts. They also said Rodriguez "grabbed their hands and made them touch his penis over his clothes."
Parents of the children told Laureano that Rodriguez was a guitarist for the church and was trusted by parishioners.
When Laureano went to Rodriguez's home on Aug. 19, 2017, to take him into custody, his wife said he had been there two days earlier, "grabbed some of his things and fled the house." She said she hadn't seen him since.
A warrant for his arrest was issued last year, but Rodriguez wasn't taken into custody until Monday.
Rodriguez was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where he was being held without bond.
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