clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Church choir director accused of sexually abusing 12-year-old

Jose Manuel Zamarripa, 27
Jose Manuel Zamarripa, 27
Weber County Sheriff's Office

OGDEN — Police say a 12-year-old girl was sexually abused by the choir director at her church.

The girl was attending services at Rios de Agua Viva church, 29th and Grant Ave. in Ogden, with her family when she met Jose Manuel Zamarripa, 27. Weber County sheriff's investigators say Zamarripa befriended the girl through the choir and church activities and their involvement later extended outside of church.

"Zamarripa exchanged sexually explicit notes, text messages and nude photos with the victim. It is believed Zamarripa also became sexually involved with the girl," the sheriff's office said in a statement Thursday.

A family member contacted police after becoming suspicious of the girl's interactions with Zamarripa, said Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Lane Findlay. Investigators believe most of the abuse took place in May.

Zamarripa, of Ogden, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, sexual exploitation of a minor and dealing in materials harmful to a minor. He was booked into the Weber County Jail with bail set at just under $40,000. No official criminal charges have been filed.

Police are urging any others who may have been victimized to contact the sheriff's office at 801-778-6631.

A search of state court records indicates Zamarripa does not have a significant criminal history in Utah.