LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Police believe there may be more victims of a Las Vegas pastor who was arrested for sex crimes with minors.
Metro Police detectives arrested 52-year-old Fermin Rangel-Ramos earlier this month for multiple warrants related to the crime of lewdness with a minor.
Rangel-Ramos was the presiding pastor at Centro Cristiano Bethel Church, near Vegas Dr. and Rancho Dr., for more than 20 years.
His name appears to have been stripped from a sign at the church. But the letters are still visible. 8 News Now tried speaking with church employees and congregants, but they only said they were aware of the situation and had no other comments.
“It’s truly alarming, it’s disappointing,” said Kelcey West, Senior Pastor at Nehemiah Ministries Christian Church.
Pastor West is with a completely different congregation in Las Vegas but says it is important to talk about what happened.
“I do want to extend my prayers for the families, those involved, for that congregation because moments like this, they have a snowball effect,” Pastor West said. “We live in a world where many people already struggle with trust and moments like this really do not help.”
Pastor West says adults need to be present with kids while at church, and it is up to each church along with its leaders and congregants — to come up with those policies.
“Yes, you’re going to do your background checks. But you want to make sure children are not being left alone,” Pastor West said. “You want to make sure that you have policies in place.”
Metro Police detectives believe Rangel-Ramos may have more victims who have not come forward yet. It is also important to point out it is not clear if the inappropriate behavior happened at Rangel-Ramos’ church.
“They could be scared and fearful,” said Dinisha Mingo, a local mental health expert who is also the CEO and Owner of Mingo Health Solutions.
Mingo says in these situations, kids and teens might feel confused about speaking up. But they need to be reminded that their voice matters.
“It’s important to come forward because their mental health matters, first and foremost,” Mingo said. “It’s not their fault. So, them coming forward so they can get the support and help that they need. But then, the other part of it is, so that this does not continue.
Pastor West agrees.
“I want to encourage children to please say something,” Pastor West said.
Anyone who may have been a victim of Rangel-Ramos is urged to call Metro’s sex crimes unit at 702-828-3421. Or to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.
8 News Now also tried speaking with Rangel-Ramos’ family, but a woman who answered the door at his listed address said she had nothing to stay.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8 News Now for updates.