Valdosta pastor awaiting extradition, facing several sexual assault charges
January 6, 2019
LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- A Valdosta pastor is awaiting extradition to Portland, Oregon where he faces several sexual assault charges.
Helio Santiago Ferreira, 41, is in the Lowndes County Jail. Ferreira is the pastor of Grace Fellowship Seventh Day Adventist Church in Valdosta.
Officials with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office said they were contacted by law enforcement in Portland, notifying them Ferreira was in the area. Since then, the departments have been working very closely together.
Authorities said he has been in the Lowndes County area for about one year working as a pastor at the church.
Ferreira is facing nine felony charges, including rape, sodomy and kidnapping. The cases go back to 2012, and most recently in 2018.
Sheriff Ashley Paulk said the department helped Portland law enforcement obtain DNA, which linked Ferreira to the sex crimes.
While all of the crimes took place in Oregon, local authorities said they're just glad he is off the streets and behind bars, calling him a 'serial rapist.'
"It's a great feeling, I mean, that guy preys on women and young girls. He doesn't need to be on the streets again," Paulk said. "We have interactions with a lot of other agencies, and Portland was one of those. They were great to work with, we got a pretty bad guy off the streets for Portland. Of course, it's just been a miracle he's been here for over a year and he hasn't committed that same crime here."
Officials said Ferreira is not facing any charges in Lowndes County. They said, no matter how long the extradition process takes, he will face a trial in Oregon.
We reached out to Grace Fellowship Church but did not hear back.
Ferreira did also work part-time with the Seventh Day Adventists Oregon Conference. In a statement, officials said, in part:
"The Oregon Conference has become aware that Mr. Helio Ferreira has been indicted in Multnomah County on sexual assault and other charges.
Mr. ferreria worked part-time for Oregon Conference entities from 2014-March, 2019. At this time, we have no reports that these allegations have any connection to his employment in the Oregon Conference. Nevertheless, we will continue to monitor this matter closely and cooperate as appropriate with local authorities on any ongoing investigation into these allegations."
December 20, 2019
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) — A Valdosta pastor has been arrested in connection to multiple sexual assault cases out of Portland, Oregon, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The GBI said Helio Ferreira, 41, was arrested Dec. 3, in a multi-agency investigation that included the GBI, detectives with the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit, the Hillsboro (Oregon) Police Department and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is related to cases in Portland, Ore. from 2012, 2016 and 2018.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released the following statement on this case:
Portland Police Bureau Detectives are actively looking to see if there are other related cases.
Anyone with any information that could help investigators or information you believe could be connected, you’re urged to contact Detective Ross Dormady at (503) 823-0880.