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Volunteer church leader accused of having sex with teenager

A 26-year-old man who volunteered at the High Desert Church in Victorville has been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy.

According to a release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Joseph Kealoha was taken into custody on Tuesday. He’s being charged with multiple counts of having sex with a minor.

Deputies with the Victorville Sheriff’s Station began investigating on Monday, December 15, after the teenager told his father about a year-long sexual relationship with Kealoha.

According to sheriff’s release, Kealoha was a volunteer group leader at the High Desert Church and his role was to mentor and assist adolescents in small study groups.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department took over the investigation. Detectives learned the victim met Kealoha while attending High Desert Church, specifically during a youth beach trip in August of 2013. Shortly after they met, Kealoha began dating the teen which eventually led to sexual acts, according to the allegations.

The victim told deputies the sexual acts occurred monthly throughout the relationship, which came to an end in September of 2014.

According to the sheriff’s department, Kealoha was also employed as an instructional aid at Morgan Kincaid Preparatory School and he was also a program leader at Bradach Elementary School’s ‘Think Tank’ program. Both schools are part of the Adelanto School District.

Kealoha has been removed from his duties at the church and the schools.

He was arrested on Tuesday and booked into the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino. His bail was set at $500,000. Deputies said his next court date is set for December 29 at 8:30 a.m. in Victorville Superior Court.

The sheriff’s department is concerned that Kealoha may have had inappropriate contact with other juveniles.

Anyone with information regarding this case, or juveniles that may have had isolated contact with Kealoha, are urged to call Detective David Clifford with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Crimes against Children Detail at (909) 387-3615.

Callers who want to remain anonymous can call the WE-TIP Hotline at 1-800-782-7463.

KESQ News Team

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