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Pastor attacked in Fullerton has criminal history

Minister has pleaded guilty to lewd conduct and probation violations, and faces jail time. Separately, he was targeted in a gang-related attack this month.

February 23, 2009|Alan Zarembo

A Fullerton minister whose family was recently targeted in a gang-related attack has a criminal history of lewd conduct and is facing an imminent 60-day jail sentence, according to court records.

On Nov. 30, 2006, the Rev. Willie Holmes was arrested for lewd conduct in a public place and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. An Orange County judge sentenced him to three years' probation.

On Feb. 4, 2008, he was arrested on two counts of violating his probation. In a separate incident three days later, he was charged with indecent exposure, lewd conduct and loitering around a public toilet.

Last fall, Holmes pleaded guilty to the probation violations and was sentenced to a total of 360 days in jail. He also pleaded guilty to the new loitering and lewd conduct charges. The indecent exposure charge was dropped.

On Friday, Holmes was ordered to report to jail March 6 for a 60-day sentence. He won't be required to serve any more time, according to his attorney, Jacqueline Rubio. The lewd conduct convictions stemmed from Fullerton police sting operations in bathrooms at public parks, and the "victims were police decoys," she said.

"He's not denying anything," she said. "He's the guy who's always said, 'I'm trying to be a better person.' He's sought redemption."

Three juveniles have been arrested in connection with the Feb. 13 attack on Holmes, the president and founder of Majesty Christian Fellowship, a black congregation.

He told police that he was driving with his two sons and another passenger when about 20 youths confronted them about a block and a half from the church.

The attackers shouted "FTT" -- short for Fullerton Tokers Town, a local Latino gang -- and tried to block the car, Holmes said. He and his passengers fled into the church while attackers smashed the windows of the car and the church office.

Holmes organized two peace marches after the incident. Fullerton police have said that there is no indication the attack was racially motivated.

Rubio said that Holmes knew the lewd conduct charges might become public if he tried to draw attention to the attack, but that he put the community above his own interests.

"He has been doing a lot of good in the community for a long time," she said.

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alan.zarembo@latimes.com

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