Kearny youth minister at Protestant church charged with sexual assault on minor, HCPO says

A 21-year-old Kearny man who works as a youth minister at the Good Shepherd Church, Kearny, has been arrested and charged with sexual assault on a minor in an incident alleged to have occurred in 2018, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said.

On June 15, 2020, members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit arrested Esteban Ruiz, 21, on charges that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in April of that year. Ruiz reportedly met the victim in his capacity as a youth leader at Good Shepherd Church, Suarez said.

The sexual-assault charge is a second-degree crime. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a third-degree crime.

Ruiz was arrested at his home in Kearny at approximately 7 p.m., Monday, June 15, without incident.  At the time of his arrest, Ruiz listed the Centro de Adoracion in Hackensack as his current employer.

Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Kearny Police Department for the investigation and arrest.

The Prosecutor’s Office filed a detention motion and the detention hearing takes place Friday, June 19, 2020. Ruiz is currently being held at the Hudson County Jail, South Kearny, the HCPO said.

Learn more about the writer ...

Editor & Broadcaster at 

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.