Mormon missionary accused of fondling girls at Vegas church

Associated Press/October 8, 2003

Las Vegas -- A court summons has been issued for a 21-year-old Mormon missionary accused of fondling two young girls in a classroom at a Las Vegas-area church.

John Misseldine remained free Wednesday without bail, a day after the Clark County District Attorney filed one felony count of sexual assault with a minor and two counts of lewdness stemming from allegations that he touched two girls, ages 7 and 4.

The sexual assault charge carries a possible sentence of life in prison.

Misseldine, of Little Rock, Ark., was ordered to appear in Las Vegas Justice Court on Oct. 29, a spokeswoman for District Attorney David Roger said.

Misseldine's lawyer, William Terry, and officials with the Mormon Church in Las Vegas were not immediately available Wednesday for comment.

Misseldine was freed in May after church officials promised a judge he would be supervised closely in an administrative church position and would not be allowed to deal with the public.

He was arrested May 3 after a woman told police her nieces reported he fondled them when they were left with him during services at a Las Vegas area Church of Jesus of the Latter-day Saints stake.

The older girl later told police that Misseldine put his hand up her dress and moved her panties. The younger girl said Misseldine touched her crotch through her clothes.

A church official said in May that by being alone with the girls, Misseldine and his missionary companion violated a church rule that they stay within sight of one another at all times whenever they are in public. The missionary companion was not identified.

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