Man posing as pastor accused of molesting 2 girls in Phoenix

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Jose Barrientos By Jennifer Thomas Jose Barrientos By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police are looking for a man accused of molesting two girls while living with their family in 2008.

Police say Jose Barrientos, 52, befriended the victims' family and moved in with them to gain access to the 8- and 10-year-old sisters.

Officer Luis A. Samudio said Barrientos earned the trust of the family by using the poor health of the victims' father and the family's religious nature. Barrientos passed himself off as a pastor for their church, Assembly of God, and convinced the family his prayers would help.

Samudio said Barrientos threatened the girls by saying they would never see their father again if they disobeyed him.

The molestation reportedly occurred between June and September 2008. It was not until he left the family that they discovered the victimization.

The investigation revealed there is no record that Barrientos was ever employed by the Assembly of God church. Detectives believe Barrientos misrepresents himself as an evangelist and convinces churches to let him preach.

Samudio said there are records showing he was a car salesman in Florida and may still be involved in that line of work.

Barrientos may have lived with many other families in the United States, Mexico and El Salvador. Detectives believe Barrientos has had access to young children for years and there may be other victims who have not yet come forward.

Barrientos is facing two counts of sexual conduct with a minor, three counts of sexual abuse and one count of child molestation.

Barrientos' whereabouts are unknown at this time. Anyone with information about him should call Phoenix police detectives at 602-534-3206 or the Child Crimes unit at 602-534-3200.