A Christian pastor in Mexico has been arrested over allegations that he raped two underage sisters more than 100 times over a four-year period.
Alfredo Huerta Zavala, 56, allegedly told the siblings -- who were 9 and 10 years old when the abuse is said to have begun -- that they should trust him "unconditionally" because he had been chosen by Christ, multiple media outlets in Mexico reported Wednesday.
He is also alleged to have invoked the "name of God" to force them into performing sexual acts. The girls are now 13 and 14.
The attacks reportedly occurred when the sisters were supposed to be helping Zavala carry out chores around the Luz del Mundo church in the city of Oaxaca every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
It's unclear how details of the case came to the attention of the police, but Zavala was arrested earlier this month, according to Telemundo.
In declarations to Oaxaca's state public prosecutor, one of the girls said that the pastor would force them into performing oral sex on him, and that he said it was her duty as a Christian, newspaper Diario de Yucatan reported.
The abuse took place in a small office inside the church, she added.
Oaxaca's Attorney General’s Office is handling the case. Zavala, who remains in custody, could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted, according to Telemundo.
Need help? In the U.S., visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN. For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's website.
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