|Artelino Vallada is accused of sexually assaulting four girls and women, between the ages of 14 and 21. (Toronto Police handout)
A pastor accused of using his position as a religious leader to take sexual advantage of numerous female members of his congregation -- one of whom is barely a teenager -- will remain behind bars for the weekend.
Facing eight charges for sexual assault and other offences, Artelino Vallada, 36, appeared in court Friday with half a dozen or so members of the Jesus Christ the Open Door Church on hand for support.
The preacher appeared to be moments away from being granted bail, but a last-minute snag prompted the judge to put the hearing on hold until next week.
Four young females came forward recently with accusations of inappropriate sexual behaviour involving their pastor, Const. Tony Vella said.
The alleged victims, who range in age from 14 to 21, claim they were molested on numerous occasions between November 2010 and January 2013.
"We are concerned about the possibility there may be more victims," Vella said.
Jesus Christ the Open Door Church -- a congregation of about 80 people -- has been a registered charity since December 2007, collecting more than $55,000 a year in donations.
An online description states the church holds weekly services for "prayer and worship" and also provides "religious education and instruction for all ages."
Vallada, who is from the Philippines, has been a pastor at the church since it opened six years ago.
The father of four is charged with four counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and two counts of invitation to sexual touching.
John McMillan, a founder of the church and president of its board of directors, had planned to bail the pastor out, but the Crown had concerns about McMillan's ability to come up with the $10,000 required.
Vallada's bail hearing resumes Monday.