Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Youth Pastor arrested for sexual assault on girl

A youth pastor in Alma was arrested Thursday after he engaged in sexual acts with a juvenile female youth group member, according to a news release from the Van Buren Police Department. Michael Brandon Lenzini, 34, was arrested at Crossroads Church in Alma on suspicion of four counts of first-degree sexual assault, a Class A felony, according to the release issued by detective Jonathan Wear, public information officer for the department. “At this point we don’t know of any other victims,” Wear said in a phone interview Monday. “I’m hoping there’s no other victims.” After receiving a tip from the child abuse hot line, investigators spent Thursday morning investigating Lenzini before arresting him, according to the release. The sexual acts are believed to have taken place during a one-month period, the release states. In Arkansas, first-degree sexual assault occurs when someone has intercourse or “deviate sexual activity” with a juvenile, and the abuser is in a position of trust or authority over the victim, Wear stated in the release. Consent is no defense, he added.


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