(KRON) — A convicted sex offender was living at a Salinas church when he preyed on a 14-year-old girl who attended church services, Monterey County prosecutors said.
Jaime Tirso Ayala Jr., 47, of Salinas, was convicted by a jury this week of annoying or molesting a child. The judge noted that Ayala abused a position of trust at Family Christian Center, and he was on parole at the time he targeted the girl.
Ayala is a registered child sex offender for a 1995 conviction, prosecutors said. He previously served prison time for committing a lewd act on a child younger than 14.
“After his release on parole, the defendant began living in a room at the Family Christian Center
church in the city of Salinas. It was through this church that the defendant met Jane Doe, age 14,
who was a member of the congregation. He began complimenting her appearance and asking for her phone number. Then he began following her around the church and touching her without her consent,” the District Attorney’s Office wrote.
The girl dreaded going to church and she told her friends about the abuse, prosecutors said. After her friends alerted their parents, Salinas officers launched an investigation into Ayala’s conduct.
Ayala already has two strikes on his record. He now faces a prison sentence of up to 25 years behind bars. The sex offender will be sentenced on December 8.