Pastor charged with sex abuse reported by church members

Jul 2, 2019

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — A prosecutor says an Alabama pastor has been charged with felony sexual abuse after church members reported him to authorities.

John Martin of Florence was jailed Monday in Lauderdale County on $60,000 bail. Al.com reports the 41-year-old minister had recently resigned after nine years as pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church.

Lauderdale County Assistant District Attorney Angie Hamilton said Martin admitted to church members when he resigned June 23 that he had inappropriate relationships with young men. She said church members reported his remarks to authorities, who began a criminal investigation.

Hamilton says Martin is charged with four counts of felony sexual abuse involving victims younger than 16. She said more charges could be added.

It was not immediately known if Martin had an attorney who could speak for him.