On Friday in Department 10 of the Tulare County Superior Court, the court sentenced Gustavo Zamora, 69 of Lindsay, to 25 years-to-life in prison for child molestation.

Zamora will also be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. On October 1, Zamora pleaded no contest to six counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 and admitted the special allegation the crimes occurred against more than one victim.

The crimes also involved substantial sexual conduct. Each count is a felony and are considered strike offenses.

The charged crimes occurred between January 12, 1984, and July 12, 2000, against five female victims between 4 and 14 years old at the time of the sexual assaults. Between 1984 and 2000, Zamora was working as a pastor in Lindsay.

In 2000, a victim disclosed the sexual abuse by the defendant to his family. Zamora was confronted with the allegations and disappeared without any warning. The crime wasn't reported to law enforcement at that time.

Between 2004 and 2020, multiple victims came forward disclosing sexual abuse at the hands of Zamora. A comprehensive investigation followed and Zamora was located in Lodi where he was pastoring a church. Zamora was arrested and returned to Tulare County for prosecution involving five victims.

“While it may be difficult for some to process such news, especially regarding someone in a position of trust, the bravery of these victims to come forward cannot be understated,” said Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward. “Their courage should be an example to anyone who has suffered such abuse.” The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Chelsea Wayt of the Crimes against Children Division and was investigated by Detective Rufino Venegas of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.  

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