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Church official charged with sex crimes for second time

A North Carolina man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a minor at two different churches in the York area. The man, age 38, is reportedly related to a bishop in the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas. That organization is accused of reassigning the man to another church, despite the fact that he was convicted of sex crimes in the past.

The defendant is facing sex crimes allegations of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He is also accused of assault and battery after allegedly inappropriately touching a girl while he was working as a pastor at a nearby church on U.S. 321. The victim in the case said that she had been suffering abuse since 2009, when she was 14 years old. Incidents of inappropriate touching allegedly occurred in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The man had been convicted of previous sex crimes against children in 2003 while working at a church in Gastonia.

Congregants and advocates are questioning the decisions of the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas. They are demanding explanations about why the man was reassigned as a pastor, even though he had been convicted of previous sex crimes. The man's family members, who had also been heavily involved in the church, say that some of the victim's statements do not add up, however. They also explain that the man had been getting his life back together after spending time in custody for the previous assault. It is not clear when legal proceedings will begin in connection with the new charges.

Criminal defendants who are facing sex crimes allegations in North Carolina are not considered guilty simply because they have been arrested and charged. These individuals have a variety of legal rights that should be protected in court. A criminal defense attorney may be able to provide additional information and advice for defendants in this situation.

Source: The Island Packet, "Pastor accused of sex assault at two York churches had family connections in church group" Jonathan McFadden, Mar. 12, 2014

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