77-year-old retired pastor accused of molestation

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) Police say a 77-year-old retired Southern California pastor molested and threatened three young girls at his Torrance home and his nearby church.

The Daily Breeze of Torrance says Pedro Emilio Vallejos was arrested and charged with multiple counts of child molestation. Bail is set at nearly $18 million.

He was expected to enter pleas on Friday.

Vallejos led the now-defunct Santuario de Oracion church.

Sgt. Robert Watt says the investigation began in December when a teenage girl told a school counselor that Vallejos had molested her repeatedly more than three years earlier.

Two more victims said Vallejos also had sex with them at the church and at his home.

Watt says Vallejos told the girls he would hurt them if they told anyone about the encounters.