John Rodgers McFarland has worked as a pastor in several Southern California churches over the past several years, prosecutors said on Monday. He was arrested without incident on Friday, prosecutors said.
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McFarland was charged with 7 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, and 4 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor between the ages of 14 and 15, according to court documents. He appeared in court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
McFarland worked as the head pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton from 2016 to present. Prosecutors say he was also a volunteer chaplain for the Fountain Valley police and fire departments.
From 2011 to 2016, McFarland was a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach. He was also senior pastor at Fountain Valley United Methodist Church from 1990 to 2016.
Last year, McFarland was arrested by Escondido police for alleged crimes that took place there. He was being held on $2 million bond in the Orange County Jail. He faces a maximum of 179 years.
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