Pastor accused of child molestation - FOX 32 News Chicago

Pastor accused of child molestation

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

A Gwinnett County pastor has been arrested and accused of child molestation.

Auburn police say the charges against 59-year-old Henry Lackey date back four years.

Lackey, a pastor at Free Will Pentecostal Church in Buford, is charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes, child molestation and aggravated sodomy.

Investigators said the victim lived in the same Auburn neighborhood as Lackey when the alleged crime occurred. The victim was 10 years old when the incident allegedly occurred on Lackey's property. The accuser came forward in September.

Sgt. Diana Campbell of the Auburn Police Department said that there was no intercourse involved, but there were other inappropriate actions that allegedly took place. Campbell said it's common for young children to delay disclosure of sexual abuse.

A member of the church said that Lackey had served as pastor for four years, taking over after his father retired.

James Berry believes his pastor has been falsely charged and unfairly disgraced in the Buford community.

"I've known him since he starting preaching out here, four or five years now, personally, and I don't believe it," said Berry.

Neighbors said they were stunned, but said it's important to withhold judgment.

"We're trying to keep the whole mindset of he's innocent until proven guilty. We're not here to judge him," said Karen Ann Nunnally, a neighbor of Lackey.

Police have confirmed that Lackey worked in maintenance and equipment for Gwinnett County Schools for years before his retirement.  Authorities said they are not aware of any other accusers.

Lackey is at the Barrow County Jail without bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday morning.

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