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Church volunteer accused of sex assault

September 25, 2009 9:36:52 PM PDT
Police say a church volunteer in Brooklyn has been arrested on child abuse charges. Angelo Serrano, 58, was arrested and charged with one count of first degree sexual abuse.

The victim was 10-year-old boy. Police are concerned that other victims may exist. Investigators said they are investigating as many as 17 other possible cases.

Serrano was arrested Thursday night at his home in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn diocese said Serrano was the interim director of religious education at St. Lucy - St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, also in Fort Greene.

It's a very small parish and, a spokesman said, Serrano has been a parishioner there for a very long time, working in a number of different capacities. His position was not a salaried position, but he did receive money from the church as director.

The spokesman said the diocese does background checks on all its volunteers and workers and nothing came up in Serrano's past.

Serrano is no longer going to be serving in his roll as religious director, pending the outcome of the investigation. The diocese spokesman stressed Serrano's contact with children was minimal - he was not in the classroom and mostly worked with schedules and logistics. The diocese is fully cooperating with police and the district attorney's office.

The spokesman did not know the background of the child assaulted. He couldn't say if he went to the church.

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