Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Youth Pastor arrested for molesting several girls

(Statesboro,. GA) Police say a youth pastor at a local church has been arrested on four charges, including one count of child molestation.

Authorities say 31 year old Douglas Randall Pope was taken into custody after a complaint last Friday. Police say the department's criminal investigations bureau heard from a 14 year old girl who claimed she had been molested by Pope, the youth pastor of Merrywood Baptist Church in Statesboro. Police told us in a news release that the young victim said the "inappropriate behavior and touching has been occurring over the past two years and also involved other juvenile females."

Police say that interviews with other girls were then conducted and additional complaints were made.

On Tuesday, police detectives, armed with a search warrant, went to the home of Pope. They say they seized computers, cameras and related digital media. Police say Pope was at the apartment during the search and later interviewed by police.

Police say Pople has been charged with three counts of Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes and one count of Child Molestation.

This investigation is ongoing and additional charges are anticipated in this case. Personnel with Merrywood Baptist Church have been made aware of the investigation and the arrest of Pope. Police say the church is cooperating with the investigation.

Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact the Criminal Investigative Bureau of the Statesboro Police Department at (912)764-9911. (Police say Detective Ben Purvis and Detective Sergeant James Winskey are leading this investigation. Information can also be submitted via the internet at and click on the submit at tip link.)

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