Church responds in case of youth pastor charged with sexual assault

Associated Press/July 4, 2003

Southington -- Central Baptist Church in Southington says its head pastor complied with legal and moral obligations in the case of a former youth pastor accused of having an illegal sexual relationship.

The former pastor James McCoy was also a basketball coach at the church-affiliated Central Christian Academy. He was charged Tuesday with sexually assaulting a female player on his basketball team from 1998 to 1999.

Citing sources it did not identify yesterday, The Herald of New Britain reported that Pastor Jim Townsley learned of the relationship before police began to investigate and transferred McCoy to a church in Tennessee without immediately telling authorities.

But church attorney Scott Matney issued a statement says the church does not have the power to transfer employees to other churches, and no such action was taken.

The church called the source's remarks "damaging and false." Matney says the church officials fired McCoy as soon as they learned of the situation, but could not say when that was.

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