Detectives: Church volunteer accused of sexually assaulting child

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A church volunteer is at the center of a child sex assault probe, and detectives say more charges could be brought against him (KTRK)

Detectives say a 39-year-old church volunteer is at the center of a child sex assault investigation, and additional charges could be brought against him.

The Waller County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday issued a felony arrest warrant for Nilsson Daniel Vargas on a charge of sexual assault of a child. The incident occurred in Waller County, but there may have been more in Austin, as well as in Fort Bend and Harris counties.

According to the sheriff's office, Vargas met his victim, who was 16 at the time, in 2008 at the Christian City Fellowship in Sealy.

An arrest warrant describes Vargas as a church volunteer but Pastor Rusty Griffin tells Eyewitness News Vargas was not a part of the leadership or staff, and was not a youth counselor volunteer at his church. Griffin said the alleged victim recently came forward to him about the alleged sex assault, and that's when he called police.

Authorities say Vargas first gained his victim's trust, then began to inappropriately touch the child; they say the alleged assault lasted for years, and the victim felt pressured and too ashamed to ask for help. That victim is now cooperating with investigators.

When questioned about the sex acts, court papers state Vargas responded by telling police, "If they say it happened then it happened."

Detectives say Vargas may have more victims, so they're encouraging parents of children who attended the church to speak with their kids about Vargas. Griffin says he also sent out a letter to his congregation, informing them about the sex assault allegation.

Meanwhile, we've learned Vargas has four children of his own and is going through a divorce. Griffin says the whole family is getting counseling at the church.

Vargas is said to be turning himself into authorities on Wednesday. A judge has set Vargas' bond at $500,000.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and would be required to pay a fine as large as $10,000. He would also be required to register as a sex offender.

Anyone with information about this case or any new allegations is asked to call the Waller County District Attorney's Office at 979-826-7718.
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sex assaultSealy
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