WEST SACRAMENTO — It’s not exactly sacred ground, but this school in West Sacramento rents space to a church every Sunday for worship services.
On October 23, as the congregation from New Discovery Christian Church was praying, a four-year-old child went to the restroom and was sexually assaulted, according to police, by a fellow member of the church.
“It was a shock to all of us and we’ll do whatever we can to be there for everybody, and we just wanted to let them know,” said worship leader William Mendoza.
Mendoza is the worship leader from New Discovery who was tasked with calling families to let them know about the alleged child sex assault.
He has since spoken with the victim’s mother.
“I know she’s not only distraught but very angry and upset and rightfully so, yeah that was pretty evident to me,” said Mendoza.
Mendoza says it is also evident to him that the man accused of assaulting the child, 39-year-old Rolis Wheeler of West Sacramento, is entitled to his day in court.
Wheeler was arrested on October 27 and charged with sexual assault on a minor under 10,as well as kidnapping.
“That was the shocking part to me because seemed to be veer genuine very sincere,” said Mendoza.
He says Wheeler was homeless before joining the church three or four years ago, and has since played an integral role, organizing the church’s events where they go out and feed the homeless.
“Even our justice system says innocent until proven guilty,” said Mendoza.
But some parents, have a bad gut feeling.
One responded to FOX40 through text message saying:
“…I am deeply concerned if it is true because my children rode on the bus with him every
weekend. And it turns my stomach thinking about it.”
“As difficult and as tragic as our society would look upon something like this as devastating I have to withhold anything as far as my feelings or thoughts, not be vocal except that we pray and ask god to bring justice, the truth out,” said Mendoza.