19-Year-Old Son of Church Pastors Arrested for Sexual Assault of Minors at a Gainesville Church

by | Jul 24, 2023 | Firm News

Christian Vargas Horowitz Law

Another arrest out of Alachua County occurred on July 18, 2023; Christian David Vargas was arrested and charged with lewd or lascivious battery on a victim under 16 and lewd or lascivious conduct by an adult in two separate cases that both reportedly occurred at  Ignite Life Center, a church on 14th Avenue in Gainesville. 

According to media reports, Christian David Vargas, 19, was involved in multiple allegations. The first victim was 12 years old when the abuse began in 2020 and continued for about one year. The girl told the Gainesville Police Department that she had intercourse with Vargas, who was 16 at the time, at least three times at Ignite Life Center.

The second victim claims that when she was 14 years old in 2022, Vargas, who was 17 then, pressured her to have intercourse with him at the church because once he turned 18, he couldn’t. Vargas repeatedly tried until after he turned 18, but the girl was able to ditch him each time.

When questioned by the police officers after getting arrested, Vargas reportedly admitted that he dated the first victim when she was 12. He was 16 and met with her six or seven times in a private area of the church called the “furnace.” He allegedly admitted kissing her and conversing about sexual intercourse but denied having sexual intercourse with her.

Vargas reportedly admitted meeting with the second victim by the “furnace” of the church and that they both unbuttoned their clothing but did not have intercourse.

Vargas is the son of the founding partners of Ignite School of Ministry and pastors at the Ignite Life Center, Pastors Mark, and Lisa Vega. Mark Vega is also an evangelist and sits on the National Latino Evangelical Coalition board and the Alachua County Christian Ministerial Alliance. Just two months ago, Vargas completed a three-year school of ministry.

Ignite Life Center

This is the second sexual abuse incident that occurred by s member of the Ignite Life Center. Just two weeks ago, Gabriel Hemenez, a 28-year-old volunteer at Ignite, was arrested and charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation and one count of attempted sexual battery of a minor.

Horowitz Law represents children who were sexually abused at a camp, school, daycare, church event, or athletic league. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested by a priest, camp leader, youth coach, team administrator, or sports team member, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.