Church official tries to distance congregation from sex crimes investigation
BATON ROUGE - Officials are trying to distance their church from a sex abuse investigation.
A teenager who identified himself as a minister at Jesus Name Apostolic Temple was arrested Monday on indecent behavior with a juvenile charges. Kentrell Jackson, 18, remained in jail as of this writing. He is being held on a $30,000 bond. Tuesday night, authorities added more charges for Jackson after they learned of two more victims. One victim's accusation led to an additional indecent behavior charge while the other added sexual battery and another count of indecent behavior to his list of charges.
Police said Jackson admitted to molesting 19 children over the last ten years.
On Tuesday, Linda Grant, who identified herself as a co-pastor at the church, said in a phone interview with WBRZ Jackson first confessed to clergy and the congregation and was then turned over to authorities. Police, though, said in arrest documents, they were made aware of potential abuse after a disturbance at a home near the church off Mohican in North Baton Rouge.
"He came to the church and made a confession," Grant said in the conversation. She refused to be interviewed on TV.
Grant added although Jackson claimed to be affiliated with the church, he was not an employee and had preached at the church on occasion though not recently.
The most recent case - which involves a 12-year-old girl - happened at the home Jackson shares with his grandmother who is the church pastor, Grant said, and that she does not know of any abuse happening at the church.
The church, though, is working with investigators to identify any more victims.
"If you have done wrong, you will have to deal with the wrong you have done," she said.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmalt
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Strong storms roll through Baton Rouge area
Jury convicts deputy marshal for shooting death of boy, dad\'s injuries
At least 3 injured after tree falls on cars near Tara
Beloved cat with microchip went missing, adopted by another family
Hammond school closed Friday due to Norovirus outbreak