ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Married with three children, 44-year-old Jose Argueta allegedly pledged his love to another, a 13-year-old girl, and then sought her out for a sexual relationship on multiple occasions.
"The suspect drove the church van that transported the victim and her family to their church in Glen Burnie and that's how she first met him," said Sgt. Amy Miguez of the Annapolis Police Department.
Police say on four separate occasions over a two-week period Argueta had the young teen slip outside her home on Juliana Circle in Annapolis and molested her.
While the suspect stopped short of raping her, he now faces 19 separate counts ranging from sex offenses and assaults to perverted practice and child porn.
"It was obvious that there was a lot of information confirming that this had happened and also photographs unfortunately---pornographic images of this child," said Miguez.
Detectives also turned up evidence that Argueta may have abused the same victim in Howard County and in the nation's capital, and police in those jurisdictions have launched their own investigations into those allegations.
Meanwhile, Annapolis police are working with the victim's undisclosed church in Glen Burnie to see if he abused any other children.
"When someone is in a position where they have contact with people, with kids in this way and they've been accused of a crime like this, that's something we're always concerned about,” said Miguez, “so we've done outreach with the church and will continue to do so to provide them with resources or the information so that if there are any victims, they feel comfortable coming forward."
A judge on Friday denied bail for Argueta, who is originally from El Salvador, and federal immigration authorities have placed a hold on him following his arrest.
The Annapolis Police Department is urging anyone with information about these incidents or the suspect to contact them at 410-260-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit anonymous tips through Metro Crime Stoppers of Maryland.