LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Local pastor Bramwell Retana, 44, was arrested on Dec. 19 on several charges relating to alleged child sexual abuse. 8 News Now obtained Retana’s arrest report, which details several incidents involving a victim who was under the age of 14.
According to the report, the victim attempted suicide by jumping out of a second-floor window at her school. An unidentified person who reported the alleged sexual abuse noticed a decline in her behavior and that the teen did not want to attend church anymore.
Retana gave the victim a cell phone, and police say the unidentified person confronted him as to why he did so, but Retana responded by saying, “I love kids a lot,” the report said.
The victim reported several incidents with Retana during a forensic interview at the Southern Nevada Children’s Advocacy Center, the report said. The incidents occurred over a year and included the following:
- Retana kissing her on the mouth after “drama practice” at his church
- Retana asking her to spit in his mouth or in his drinking water
- Retana licking her underwear and “private part” (vagina) during an incident at her residence
- Retana kissing the victim and her friend’s bare feet in his vehicle after picking them up and taking them to an unknown McDonald’s in Clark County. He later returned them home.
- Retana kissing and licking the victim’s and another unidentified individual’s bare feet in his office at the church. During this same incident, the report says he removed his glasses and placed his face into one of the individuals’ laps close to her vagina.
- Retana laid on the floor of his office and asked the victim to sit on his stomach. The report says he asked her to act mean or “like a bad girl.” Retana recorded this incident on his cell phone.
- Retana asked the victim to sit on his face during an incident that he also recorded on his cell phone. The report says he placed his face under her skirt when she crouched next to his head and that the victim, could feel Retana breathing on her inner thighs.
- Retana sent the victim a pornographic image depicting a nude male and nude female adult engaging in sexual relations. The report says the victim told police Retana told her this was what he wanted to do to her and later asked she delete the image.
- During a FaceTime conversation with Retana, he reportedly asked her to spit on a koala bear stuffed animal and told her that’s what he wanted her to do to him. He asked her to perform this act in exchange for his credit card number so she could purchase digital money related to a video game.
During an interview with the unidentified person earlier mentioned in this report, he said he noticed the victim talking on her cell phone in a “suspicious manner.” After asking the victim what was going on, she told him she was speaking with Retana’s wife, identified as “Gabby.”
According to the report, the victim had several phone conversations with Gabby. The interviewee told police he asked the victim if anything happened after he overheard Gabby tell the victim she was “sorry for yelling at her.” Gabby also told the victim not to say anything or the situation would “explode” and asked she not say anything. The victim kept the conversation on speakerphone so the interviewee could listen, the report says, even after Gabby asked her if anyone was listening. After this conversation, the victim told the interviewee about the sexual abuse and provided details.
In a recorded phone call the victim received the day of the unidentified person’s interview, Gabby told the victim “it was all Retana’s fault.” She also assured the victim he would not come close to her several times.
The interviewee also told police he observed Retana’s text messages to the victim over a period of three months, including the pastor telling the victim he loved her. The interviewee then confronted Ratana, the report said, and the pastor told him he “loves his family.”
A second unidentified person was interviewed by police, and the report details she knew Gabby called the victim several times. She overheard Gabby tell the victim, she was “sorry for yelling at her.” The victim recorded a phone call with the pastor’s wife the same day as the second interviewees interview. The interviewee told police she spoke with the victim before her interview and that the victim detailed some of the sexual abuse incidents.
On Dec. 19, police also interviewed Ratana’s wife Gabby at the advocacy center. According to the report, when the officer asked Gabby why she thought she was there, she said she had “no idea” but would be cooperative. She said she and her husband are pastors at their church and that she interacts with several people in their congregation and talks about personal issues.
When asked about Retana’s interactions with children in the congregation, the report says she told police he has “great relationships” with them. She also told officers she had no knowledge of any outside relationships with children from the church. After the officer’s questioning, Gabby revealed she had spoken with the victim and said the relationship between the victim and Retana was “just friends.” She also noted she did notice how unusually close they were and was trying to not believe “something happened.”
Gabby also told officers she had “no proof” anything was happening more than a “friendly relationship,” according to the report. When officers asked about her phone conversations, she first said she was trying to get the victim more involved with the church before later disclosing the full extent of the conversations, including telling the victim not to say anything about inappropriate contact.
Gabby later acknowledged she had a special bond with the victim due to someone the victim knew passing away and that she and her husband felt bad for her. The report says Gabby spoke with Retana about the inappropriate relationship between him and the victim.
Over the course of the interview with Gabby, the officer told her that they knew more than what she was telling them. The report says she acknowledged she was trying to protect Retana. Gabby later said she knew about the kissing since May 2019 and believed it happened inside their church. She also acknowledged she knew about Ratana kissing the victim’s feet and that they were “basically dating.”
Police interviewed Retana on Dec. 19, and when he was initially brought in and advised of his Miranda rights, he told police he was “confused” and “wondered if he was mistakenly taken into custody.”
During the interview, Retana described his work at the church with his wife and explained he must be cautious and have windows in all their classrooms to protect teachers from sexual harassment claims, the report says. The officer explained the allegations made against Retana in reference to inappropriate contact he had with a female child.
Retana identified the victim as the person the allegations were about, detailing how she came to the church and that he grew a close relationship with her because he felt bad for her. According to the report, he said he knew his more frequent interactions with her were a “bad idea.”
Retana told police he got a phone for the victim since she wanted one and would speak with her, even though he knew it was inappropriate, the report says. He told police he “never abused her sexually” or did anything to her against her will. He later admitted he kissed the victim on the lips but that it was a one-time incident, and also said he kissed the victim’s feet “a few times.”
The suspect detailed the incident at the victim’s residence, at first saying nothing sexual happened, according to the report. He later admitted to orally penetrating her, explaining she was sitting on his shoulders and fell onto him, with his face ending up near her vagina. He said that’s when the penetration occurred.
He later spoke about kissing the victim and another unidentified person’s feet in his office at the church but denied doing sexual with anyone else. The report says he admitted to police he recorded some of the incidents and would later use the videos he took of the victim to masturbate with.
According to the report, Retana told police he had a fetish that involves his enjoyment for being dominated, stating he sees the victim as his dominatrix and him the slave.
Retana told police he “never planned to do this” and that he loves the victim in a “very healthy way.” He said he grew attracted to the victim after she tried out for one of his church plays. The report says he stated he was turned on when she acted like a “mean girl” and was the “meanest girl in the group” after he asked for one of the kids to play a “mean girl.” He said it matched his fetish. Retana also told police about the pornographic image he supplied to the victim.
The report detailed Retana said he was sorry and regrets the incidents happened. He agreed to write an apology to the victim and an unidentified person.
Retana faces the following charges:
- Sexual assault against a child less than 14 – 1 count
- Lewdness with a child less than 14 – 7 counts
- Luring a child with a computer for sexual conduct – 1 count
- Kidnapping of a minor 1st degree sexually motivated – 1 count
- Child abuse or neglect – 1 count