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Pastor Named in Sex Abuse Case Falls to Death

November 22, 2005|From Associated Press

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — A Porterville minister accused of sexually abusing two teenage parishioners fell 400 feet to his death at Moro Rock, a National Park Service official said Monday.

The Rev. Santos Teixeira's fall Sunday afternoon was under "uncertain circumstances," requiring the agency to notify the FBI of its investigation, said Alexandra Picavet, a Sequoia National Park spokeswoman.

She said park investigators haven't determined the manner of death and cautioned that it was standard procedure to notify the FBI about the case, which occurred on federal land.

Teixeira, 56, fell to his death from the summit of Moro Rock, a 6,500-foot-high granite dome. Picavet said a person believed to be a parishioner and other bystanders were in the area, adding that they have been interviewed.

Teixeira's family has asked the National Park Service to look into the pastor's death, Picavet said. A telephone number for the family could not be located.

Teixeira, pastor of Iglesia Del Nazareno church, was ordered in August to stand trial on charges of rape and sexual assault. The allegations involve two teenage sisters who attended his church.

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