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Ex-OC Youth Pastor Charged With Molesting Girl, 14, At Church, Home

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Joe David Nelms (courtesy OCSD)

Joe David Nelms (courtesy OCSD)

SANTA ANA (CBS) — A former San Clemente youth pastor has been charged with molesting a female parishioner for several years starting when she was 14 years old, Orange County prosecutors said Wednesday.

Joe David Nelms, 47, was a youth pastor at Pacific Coast Church in San Clemente in 1993 when he met the girl, who reported the alleged molestation earlier this month, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

He was arrested Friday in Lindale, Texas.

Nelms is accused of molesting the girl from 1993-96, beginning when she was 14 years old, said sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.

The woman claims Nelms molested her in the church office, while driving around San Clemente and in his home in San Clemente, Amormino said. Nelms worked as a youth pastor at the church from 1990 to 2000.

In Texas, he was a volunteer Bible study teacher at First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, and was a counselor for high school students at Sky Ranch, a Christian camp and ministry, according to prosecutors.

Orange County prosecutors are trying to have Nelms extradited from Texas, where he is being held without bail.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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