Church handyman, 51, molested a four-year-old girl during Father‘s Day services

Church handyman, 51, ‘lured a four-year-old girl to the van he lived in across the street with a packet of chips and sexually assaulted her during a Father‘s Day service‘

Jose Trinidad Tavarez, 51, is the handyman and security guard of Oasis Christian Church in Santa Ana

A 51-year-old church handyman has been arrested after being accused of sexually assaulting a young girl at a California church. 

Father-of-three Jose Trinidad Tavarez allegedly molested a four-year-old girl while she attended a Father‘s Day service at Oasis Christian Church in Santa Ana – and police fear there may be more victims.

He allegedly lured the girl to a van across the street where he was living using a bag of potato chips.  

Children were playing in a separate room while their parents attended the service next door.

When the kids were on their own, Tavarez allegedly made his move.

When the little girl‘s mother left the room and her child to head to the service, she noticed that he was the only adult, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told 

It was when the family were driving back home that the youngster told her mom what happened, specifically naming Tavarez, investigators said.

Tavarez was well known in the church congregation. He had been working as a handyman and security guard for over a year. 

Police arrested Tavarez on Monday and he was booked into the the Orange County Jail on suspicion of child molestation.

He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Tavarez has been in trouble with the law before having been previously arrested on suspicion of soliciting an undercover officer for sex and contempt of court.

Oasis Church says it is fully cooperating with the police investigation.

Detectives believe Tavarez may have victimized others, and released surveillance footage  showing the suspect near the church on Sunday.