Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Accusations

1. A probable cause statement filed by Newton County Deputy Mike Barnett stated Johnston told a 12-year-old girl he was “ordained by God to fulfill her needs as a woman,” adding “that if she would have sexual intercourse with him that she would remain a virgin and would remain pure.”

2. A probable cause statement filed by LeSueur, Paul Epling told a child he was “preparing her body for service to God.” (McDonald County)

3. A probable cause statement filed by Deputy Mike Barnett, an investigator with the Newton County Sheriff's Department, the first alleged victim told authorities Johnston began touching her at the age of 8, kissing her on the mouth and putting his tongue in her mouth. She said Johnston unbuttoned her pants and fondled her private area. At the age of 12, the victim told Barnett, Johnston attempted to have sexual intercourse with her. “[She] stated that Pastor George Johnston stated to her that if she would have sexual intercourse with him that she would remain a virgin and would remain pure,” Barnett wrote in the statement. The girl told Johnston she did not want to have sex with him, and that he did not force her to. However, he continued to fondle her private area two to three times a week until she was 17 years old. Additionally, the girl told Barnett, on several occasions Johnston exposed himself to her and made her fondle him. “[She] stated that when she was approximately 14 years old, there was an incident that was more forceful than the previous incidents stated,” Barnett wrote. The girl told the investigator that while seated in a chair in the living room in a pair of boxer shorts, Johnston exposed himself and forced the girl to strip. No sexual penetration occurred, the investigator said in his report.

4. A probable cause statement, Deputy Mike Le Sueur, an investigator with the McDonald County Sheriff's Department, said Raymond Lambert, fondled a 12-year-old girl in 1987. As time progressed, the deputy said in his report, the girl was required to perform oral sex on Raymond Lambert. The incidents happened repeatedly until 2005, when the girl left the church compound.

5. A probable cause statement that Patty Lambert, compelled a 16-year-old church member to strip, whereupon she was allegedly fondled by Raymond Lambert while Patty Lambert was naked in the bed with them. Deputy Mike Le Sueur added that in permitting the contact between the pastor and the young church member, Patty Lambert endangered the welfare of the teenager. (McDonald County)

6. A probable cause statement that Tom Epling fondled a church member between 1976 and 1978, beginning when the child was only four years old. (McDonald County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Le Sueur)

7. A probable cause statement, Paul Epling reportedly fondled the same child during 1977 and 1978, telling her “he was preparing her body for service to God.” When the girl was 10, the statement concluded, Paul Epling allegedly attempted sexual intercourse with her, stopping “only after she protested due to pain.” (McDonald County)

8. A probable cause statement, in McDonald County, alleges that George Otis Johnston repeatedly fondled the victim's breasts, vagina and buttocks beginning in 1999, when she was 11, until 2004. Johnston termed the sexual contact "before and after actual church services" on Sundays at Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church as "angel kisses."

9. A probable cause statement alleges that Johnston touched the victim sexually while he was supposed to be tutoring her in algebra from February 1997, when she was 11 years old, until December 2004, according to a probable cause statement filed by Dwayne Allen, an investigator with the Newton County Sheriff's Department. The victim said that "Johnston told her that she was not having a problem with her algebra, she was having a spiritual problem and he would show her what she needed,” “[She] said Johnston told her she was approaching the age where she would have needs that can be filled by a man.” The victim told investigators Johnston told her he could fulfill these needs and that she needed to become one of his “angels.” “[She] said when Johnston would touch her, he would tell her that it wouldn't make her impure, that it would make her holy and she would remain as pure as a virgin, even after she married.” Johnston allegedly touched the girl's bare breasts and genitals during each tutoring session.

10. A probable cause statement alleges that Laura Epling (Mrs. Tom Epling) assisted Raymond Lambert in having sex with an underage girl as part of a church ritual. (McDonald County)


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