CLEVELAND - Minister Ubaldo Ocasio, 52, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison Thursday for sexually abusing young girls in his congregation.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office says Ocasio was convicted on one count of rape, six counts of gross sexual imposition, six counts of kidnapping, two counts of sexual battery and four counts of endangering children.
He will be eligible for parole in 128 years.
Authorities say that between 2011 and 2013 Ocasio molested and raped four juvenile females who were members of the congregation at Iglesia Misionera Casa de Misericordia, a Pentecostal church on the Near West Side of Cleveland. His victims were between the ages of 11 and 16.
The victims were assaulted in areas including a church van, a church basement and one of the children's homes. A principal became suspicious after seeing Ocasio at one of the children's schools and contacted police.
“We are pleased with the judge’s sentence, because now instead of standing on a pulpit, this defendant will be sitting in prison for the rest of his life. And that is exactly where he belongs for what he’s done to those four girls,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Colan.
“To have abused a sacred trust the way this defendant did is appalling.”