Update: Molestation Suspect Banned from Barber Middle
Cesar Pastrana of Kennesaw was banned from Barber Middle School property, police confirmed.
Updated at 3:50 p.m., Thursday
"We are aware of the incident with Barber Middle School, but due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation of Cesar Pastrana, we are not at liberty to comment further," said NorthStar Church spokesman Randy Elster.
The former NorthStar Church youth volunteer charged with molesting a young boy during a church lock-in was banned from Barber Middle School after volunteering there about two years ago, reported CBS Atlanta.
Cobb County and Acworth police, who are working jointly in the investigation, said 25-year-old Cesar Pastrana of Kennesaw was arrested Friday and charged with molesting the juvenile during "Thrive," a church lock-in held Feb. 3 to Feb. 4 at a private Cobb County residence.
Pastrana, who turned himself in, confessed to molesting two boys between December 2010 and January 2011, said Cobb County police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce.
While Pastrana does not appear to have a criminal background, police confirmed reports that he was banned from the Acworth middle school.
"He (Pastrana) was told not to go back on Barber Middle School property," Pierce said. He did not say whether NorthStar was aware of the prior incident, or if the church was being investigated "except to say that they are a part of the investigation as it would naturally progress."
Cobb County Schools spokesman Doug Goodwin told Patch the school district has been in communication with police and is assisting in the investigation.
Goodwin would not comment on the specifics of the middle school incident. "We can, however, say with complete confidence that the school district has handled all aspects of this matter appropriately and can share information reflecting that at an appropriate time," he said.
Church officials are yet to respond to inquiries about whether they were aware of the Barber Middle School incident, or had received prior complaints about Pastrana.
In an earlier statement from the church, Rev. Mike Linch said he was made aware of the weekend lock-in incident the Tuesday after it happened.
"We called Cesar in for a meeting. He denied the allegation but we immediately released him as a volunteer in our ministry and asked him to not come back to NorthStar," Linch said. He also said the church conducted a background check on Pastrana before he became a volunteer and that church policy prohibits volunteers from being alone with a child "on NorthStar time."
Linch said the church immediately began working with authorities to contact families about the incident.
According to Pastrana's Facebook page, he is a 2007 graduate of North Cobb High School. Facebook albums include pictures of him with young boys at church events and other outings.
Pastrana is being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on charges of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and sexual battery.
Anyone with information about this or any other case involving Pastrana should contact the Cobb County Police Department's Crimes Against Children Unit at 770-801-3470.
Subscribe to Acworth Patch's free newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.