Youth pastor at Dunning church charged with soliciting underage parishioners

SHARE Youth pastor at Dunning church charged with soliciting underage parishioners
screen_shot_2018_05_15_at_3_51_25_pm_e1526417538910.png

Victory Worship Center, 3750 N. Neva, Chicago. | Google

A youth pastor has been accused of sending nude photos and videos to four girls who attended the Dunning neighborhood church where he worked, as well as asking for and receiving photosof them.

Daniel Ramos, 29, faces felony counts of indecent solicitation of a child, soliciting child pornography and grooming, Cook County prosecutors said at his bail hearing Tuesday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Prosecutors said Ramos’ exchanges with the girls happened between January 2015 and August 2017 when the girls were between 12 and 17 years old.

Ramos joined Victory Worship Center, 3750 N. Neva Ave., in 2014 and was made a youth pastor sometime around the following year, Assistant State’s Attorney Jacqueline Marquardt said. Ramos met and befriended the four girlsandbegan reaching out to them on social media.

Daniel Ramos | Chicago Police

Daniel Ramos | Chicago Police

Over time, he began complimenting them on their appearance and later requested they sent him photos of their bodies, Marquardt said. Some of the girls sent Ramos photos of themselves, both clothed and unclothed. Ramos also sent lewd photos of himself, as well as videos of him masturbating.

Eventually Ramos began asking two of the girls for sex, and told one that he would pick her upand take hersomewhere private, Marquardt said. Hemet with another girl at his office after she turned 18 andthey were “intimate” on at least two occasions.

Prosecutors did not say if the office was located at Victory Worship Center.

The exchanges came to light when one girl told her mother about Ramos’ conversationswith the other girls, Marquardt said. The mother told two pastors at the church, and oneconfronted Ramos, who “made admissions to sending and receiving inappropriate photos” with two of the girls.

“Church officials are working with and cooperating with authorities to provide any and all known information,” Christopher Wallace, a pastor at Victory Worship Center, said in a statement.

Wallace said Ramos was no longer affiliated with the church and had not been for “numerous months.”

Chicago Police detectives were able to recover partial conversationsbetween one of the girls and Ramos on her phone, Marquardt said. He was taken into custody Monday and his phone was recovered, but has not been analyzed.

Ramos’ attorney said he owns his home in Burbank, has been married for nine years and works in construction.

Judge Stephanie Miller set Ramos’ bail at $100,000 and ordered him to have no contact with anyone involved in the case. Hewas also ordered not to use the internet or have contact with anyone under 18,with the exception of his sonif another adult is present.

Miller declinedprosecutors’ request to put Ramos on electronic monitoring if he posts bond.

Ramos was scheduledto return tocourt May 22.

The Latest
Anger over the Supreme Court’s opinion overturning its landmark Roe v. Wade decision brought many to Federal Plaza in the Loop on Friday night.
Women don’t matter and they shouldn’t have agency over their own bodies, the conservative justices might as well have said in their support for Justice Samuel Alito’s abhorrent opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.
With the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Roe v. Wade has been overturned.
The loss of constitutional protections for abortion leave some concerned about what rights might be lost next.