Evangelical pastor arrested for sex abuse after being found with 13-year-old girl in backseat of a car
Yanhao Ren booking photo, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department

A California youth pastor has been accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl after police found him in the backseat of a car with her on a highway turn out.


Yanhao "Eric" Ren, 24, of the Los Angeles County community known as Rowland Heights, was arrested Monday on suspicion of a number of sex crimes with a child, local station KTLA reports.

Ren has been a pastor for Evangelical Formosan Church of Rowland Heights for two years and has allegedly carried out a sexual relationship with the child since May, the station reports.

On Sunday just before midnight, the California Highway Patrol found him parked with the girl off of Highway 330, a low-traffic road that runs through the Angeles National Forrest, the Highland Community News reports.

According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, which lead the investigation, the Highway Patrol conducted a welfare check on the car. Both Ren and the girl told investigators they had a sexual relationship. The victim met Ren while attending youth programs at the church.

Ren is charged with five counts including: sex crimes with a child under 14; sodomy with a child under 14; oral copulation with a child under 14; penetration with a foreign object with a child; and kidnapping.

He is being held on $500,000 bail.