Pastor accused of sexually abusing girl at church

The Advocate/January 26, 2005
By Erik Johns

Newark -- A Hebron pastor is being held in the Licking County Justice Center, accused of sexually assaulting a girl who frequently attended his church.

Lonny J. Aleshire Jr., 34, associate pastor at the Licking Baptist Church, 1380 Beaver Run Road, Hebron, is charged with one count of sexual battery, a third-degree felony.

Licking County Sheriff's deputies accuse Aleshire, of 503 E. Main St., Hebron, of engaging in sexual activity with the girl at the church in June.

Court records say more charges are possible involving a second girl who alleges Aleshire abused her over a two-year period.

Aleshire was arrested by sheriff's deputies Tuesday evening.

The church canceled its regular Wednesday evening dinner and service and instead scheduled a special meeting of ranking church officials.

Aleshire appeared Wednesday in Licking County Municipal Court before Judge Michael Higgins for a bond hearing. Higgins set bond at $250,000 and ordered him to have no contact with minors.

He remains in the county jail awaiting further court appearances.

Court records said that a Licking County grand jury will consider additional charges, some involving the second alleged victim, now 15.

Aleshire's father, also named Lonny J. Aleshire, is the head pastor at the church. He was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

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