Man charged in molestations

Published 9:38 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A former youth minister at a Suffolk church has been arrested and charged with molesting juveniles, a city spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The man, whom the city declined to name, is now 18 but was a juvenile when the alleged incidents occurred. He was a youth minister and dance leader at the Gates of Heaven Church of God in Christ, 112 Beech St.

He was arrested Dec. 14 and charged with four counts of sodomy and three counts of aggravated sexual battery, city spokeswoman Diana Klink said.

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The alleged incidents took place over a period of several years and came to the attention of the Suffolk Police Department when one of the juvenile victims recently came forward. The ensuing investigation caused others to come forward.

The suspect allegedly came in contact with his victims at the church, where some of the incidents allegedly occurred, as well as other locations within the city.

“We’ve been advised by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office not to release his name since he was a juvenile at the time the incidents occurred,” Klink wrote in an email.

He currently is incarcerated at Western Tidewater Regional Jail. The investigation is ongoing.