One-Eyed Pastor Sentenced To Prison For Child Molestation

Maria B. Jimenez

Jose Vicente Morales, a former pastor, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for sexually abusing multiple underage girls who attended his Phoenix church.

Morales, 51, pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse and three counts of attempted molestation of a child back in August.

The abuse came to light in 2016 after a 17-year-old parishioner told her mother that she was engaging in self-harm because Morales assaulted her when she was 12.

Another victim told investigators that Morales abused her regularly from ages 7 to 12. The second victim's mother was also sexually abused by him, records show. Morales, is also believed to have impregnating a parishioner who was between the ages of 13-14.

According to AZ Central:

> Morales claimed none of the allegations were true, the report said. He did admit to having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old woman who attended his church, but his accuser said it was not consensual. No victims or family members spoke during Monday's brief sentencing. Morales had his attorney read a statement while he stood by silently.

Defense attorney Shifa Alkhatib read from the letter penned by Morales,

> "I betrayed the trust placed in a spiritual leader and I am sorry for that"

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