Hanford PD investigates possible rape of a teen girl in church bathroom

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- About two weeks ago, Hanford Police say 19-year-old Crispin Ricablanca approached a 15-year-old girl in the woman's bathroom at Koinonia Church and sexually assaulted her. Police say she told an adult about the assault.

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Pastor Tim Howard says both teens were volunteers at the church's vacation bible school, and the alleged assault happened after school had ended for the day.

Howard said he'll be addressing the incident in a letter to church members and during services on Sunday.

He learned of the allegations a few days after bible school had ended.

"I want them to know that our safety procedures are a high standard and are committed to taking care of our kids," said Koinonia Pastor Tim Howard. "And (I) just want to give them feedback from our vantage point, so they won't just draw conclusions on their own from what they hear."

Howard says they are cooperating with Hanford Police's investigation, and investigating on their own to understand what happened and see if they need to change any of their procedures.

He says staff members have been in contact with both the victim and the suspect, and the church is offering support to both of their families.

"Obviously, it's a heart-wrenching thing to hear about and I want to get to the bottom of the facts," Howard said. "But I want to help them as much as possible to process and walk through this together. So we're open to do that and are trying to do that to the best of our ability."

Ricablanca's bail is set at $775,000.

The Kings County District Attorney's Office has not yet filed charges.
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