Only have a minute? Listen instead
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
EDINBURG — An Alton pastor and unlicensed doctor pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of practicing medicine without a license in Texas.
Melquisedec Chan, 58, had been set to go to trial Monday morning. A jury in his case had been selected, but before the trial began Chan changed his mind.
He was arrested on April 11, 2018.
He was first arrested by Edinburg police after a woman reported that Chan allegedly sedated and sexually assaulted her while following up with her after a surgery.
She told police that Chan, who was the founder and a pastor at Vida Abundante Church in Alton, was also a family doctor. It’s not immediately clear whether Chan is still affiliated with the church.
A day after his arrest, a McAllen woman came forward and told investigators Chan provided “intravenous medication to (her) to help ease the pain of her illness,” following her 2012 diagnosis with a head tumor, according to a probable cause affidavit.
She had alleged that Chan first treated her at the church before “conducting regular house visits around July 2014,” during which he injected her with an unknown medication that made her fall asleep in a short amount of time.
She also alleged Chan groped her while she was sedated and assaulted her with his fingers, according to a probable cause affidavit. She confronted him in February 2015 and he “ceased all contact with her.”
On Monday, a prosecutor told the jury, which will sentence Chan, that he broke all of his oaths, his oaths to practice medicine, to take care of patients, his oath as a pastor and his oath to his wife.
“He used his power for his personal gain,” the prosecutor said. “He would sedate the victims and operated his clinic out of his church.”
The prosecutor said that after the women were sedated, they would wake up and feel strange.
“It started with greed, it ended with lust,” the prosecutor said.
Carlos A. Garcia, Chan’s defense attorney, said that he grew up in Mexico and that his dad was also a pastor.
Garcia said that following his arrest, Chan admitted what he had done wrong and would tell anyone who would listen, including his wife, his son and the police.
The defense also highlighted Chan’s charitable work, including the founding of an orphanage in Reynosa and feeding the homeless in Reynosa.
“He comes before you seeking leniency,” Garcia said.
Witnesses will be called on Monday afternoon and Chan may testify.
Chan has remained free on a total of $340,000 in bonds after bailing out of the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center on May 10, 2018.