RIO GRANDE — A Gallia County pastor was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and is being charged in relation to allegations that he had sexually assaulted a teenager who had been his student.
David Young, 46, was taken into custody by deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of agents with Crimes Against Children Unit of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) at the Simpson Chapel United Methodist Church in Rio Grande where he is the pastor.
According to a press release issued by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Young has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenager between the ages of 13 and 14 who was part of a class he had been teaching through the church.
“These allegations are extremely distressing because Ohioans should be able to trust people in positions of authority,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine commented about the case. “We will go to all lengths necessary to hold those who commit crimes against children accountable.”
A felony charge of the unlawful sexual conduct with a minor was officially filed by the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office against the suspect on Wednesday afternoon with the Gallipolis Municipal Court and Young is reportedly scheduled to be arraigned before Municipal Court Judge Margaret Evans on Thursday.
Following his arraignment, a probable cause hearing will be scheduled in this case in which Judge Evans will decide whether the case will be bound over to the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County to be heard by a grand jury for further review.
According to the release, authorities are not commenting on the frequency of the alleged abuse or the locations where the incidents may have taken place. Investigators, however, are warning the community that there could be other victims.
“These are very serious allegations, and we urge anyone with additional information to come forward,” Gallia County Sheriff Joseph Browning stated. “We are thankful to the attorney general and the agents with Bureau of Criminal Investigation who quickly took action to help us investigate these allegations of abuse.”
Young is being held in the Gallia County Jail awaiting his initial court appearance.
Anyone with additional information regarding this case can contact the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446) or the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office at 740-446-1221.