Police have charged a church minister in Pulaski County with sex abuse involving a juvenile.
30-year-old Rex Allen Murphy is charged with first-degree sex abuse, third-degree sodomy and use of a minor in a sexual performance.
The Pulaski County jail's website shows Murphy was booked into the facility early Tuesday. It did not list an attorney for him.
Murphy is a minister at Polly Ann Church of God in Eubank, where he teaches Sunday school.
According to the arrest citation, a 16-year-old told police his Sunday school teacher had been touching him inappropriately both at the church and at Murphy's home, for at least 6 months. The documents state "this type of inappropriate sexual behavior took place at least 10 times."
Murphy allegedly threatened the teen with black magic resulting in death if he ever told anyone about what he had done. He allegedly told the victim he had the power to see all his sins by touching him.
"He was very scared, because the suspect, in the victim's eyes, had been threatening his life in the form of Wicca, witchcraft, black magic," said police chief Colin Hatfield.
Murphy told police "he thought he would be able to help the victim with his battle with homosexuality because he, too, had experimented with homosexuality."
Police say "through the course of the interview, the defendant stated he knew he was wrong for doing this and also knew he was in trouble."
"It took us about an hour and a half, and each time the questions would come back around, he would add one more thing at the end of his statement," said Chief Hatfield.
A pastor at the church said church officials are handling the situation internally and that Murphy is no longer part of their church. He also said he didn't know anything about the allegations and doesn't believe anything related to the charges happened on church grounds.
Murphy denied a request for an interview.
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