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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.

Reported Earlier

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.

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Tougher Laws and Tougher Punishment February 21, 2012 at 05:10 PM
We need tougher laws and more (harsher) punishment for sex offenders!
Lillie-Anne February 28, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Or maybe if the Barber Middle School Principal actually did her job with the mindset of the students being the most important thing, this whole situation could have been avoided. I've dealt with the principal first hand, and I have nothing nice to say about her. But if whatever reason he got banned from the middle school for had been reported to the police, maybe he never would have had the chance to hurt other children.
Concerned Parent February 28, 2012 at 01:03 PM
The principal did involve Acworth Police in this incident at Barber Middle School. She did the right thing handled it correctly. The pastor of Northstsr is the one that didn't take what Cesar did seriously enough to keep him away from other kids or schools.... The principal protected her students.... Shouldn't the pastor have seen the same Disturbing actions and kept him away from his youth.
Lillie-Anne March 03, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Really? Because the Principal never informed any parents of anything about this. I have siblings that have been going to school since it opened, and during the time in question, and NOTHING was said about this. And on top of that if the police had been involved in the situation two years ago then I'm pretty sure he would have been arrested before last month. I don't know how the pastor at Northstar could have kept him away from from other schools. Northstar Church stated they're aware of the Barber Middle School Situation NOW, after the fact, not that they were aware of it two years ago. The Principal covers up bullying, and abuse among students going on at Barber in order to make the school apear to be a wonderful place, but its not.

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