Jonathan Lamont Jenkins, a 60-year-old former Santa Ana church youth pastor, pleaded guilty on Friday and was sentenced to 12 years for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Santa Ana. He was given credit for 1,848 days in custody, or about five years. He initially faced up to 90 years to life in prison.
The victim, who has not been identified due to her age, contacted the SAPD in October of 2018 and told them that Jenkins had been making “sexual advances toward her” in January of 2018.
The victim was at a service at the Starlight Baptist Church in March of 2018 when she went to the bathroom. However Jenkins was waiting for her there. He locked the bathroom door as she tried in vain to get away, He then choked her and physically restrained her while he sexually assaulted her, according to the SAPD
The victim did not tell anyone and continued going to the church, police said, but on Aug. 5, 2018, Jenkins mocked her about the sexual assault and warned her not to rat him out or he would claim the sex was consensual.
Jenkins then proceeded to touch the victim’s buttocks in January of 2018 and he attempted to assault her yet again in April of 2018, according to the OCDA. He also attempted to assault her in July of 2018.
Jenkins, of Riverside, ended up pleading guilty to a felony count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Jenkins had been a member of the Starlight Baptist Church at 1201 W. Second St. since 2012, and served as a youth pastor there for two years. He was hired despite a lengthy criminal history that includes robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and drug charges. He also has prior convictions for robbery in Los Angeles in 1983 and burglary in Orange County in 1986, according to the OCDA.