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Former Thousand Oaks Pastor Pleads Guilty to Molesting Girl

October 20, 2006|Gregory W. Griggs | Times Staff Writer

A former Thousand Oaks pastor has pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a young female student at Thousand Oaks Baptist Church school in the late 1980s.

Rather than facing a trial, William Alan Malgren, 52, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of committing lewd acts upon a child and two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16. He appeared in court in a wheelchair.

Malgren is set for sentencing Dec. 5 and faces more than 11 years in prison. He remains in Ventura County Jail in lieu of $1-million bail.

Although Malgren is accused of molesting the former student from when she was 7 until she turned 14, the statute of limitations only permitted his prosecution for acts that occurred in 1988 and 1989.

At the time, Malgren was pastor of Thousand Oaks Baptist Church and the girl -- now a woman in her 30s -- was a student at the church-run school. He was arrested earlier this month after she contacted Ventura County sheriff's detectives over the summer.

Malgren was asked to leave the church in 1989 after he was seen acting inappropriately with the girl, detectives said.

In the interim, Malgren moved to Washington state for a few years, lost his ordination and then was employed as an assistant pastor in Iowa, according to Sheriff's Det. Mike Hartmann.

Based on several phone calls the Sheriff's Department received after Malgren's arrest two weeks ago, Hartmann said there may have been other victims. "But they did not want to identify themselves," the detective said. "They didn't want to live through the pain unless it was absolutely necessary."

For the last decade, Malgren was pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Moscow, Idaho, which also operates a church school and a preschool. He was arrested Oct. 4 in Idaho, and after waiving extradition, was returned to Ventura County.

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