Church’s youth leader accused of sex crimes

Three girls report assaults, officials say

Columbus Dispatch/June 22, 2006
By Kelly Hassett

A Scioto County church youth-group leader has been accused of sexually assaulting three girls who were under his care.

Raymond Brown, 33, of Otway, was indicted Tuesday on six counts of rape in connection with two girls in his youth group at Lucasville Mission Church, said Jodi Conkel, a detective with the Scioto County sheriff’s office. Brown also faces one count of gross sexual imposition involving another girl, authorities said.

The girls were between ages 12 and 16 at the time of the abuse, Scioto County Assistant Prosecutor Julie Hutchinson said yesterday.

She and investigators are talking with two other girls whom they believe Brown also abused; one is 9 years old.

A message left yesterday at the church, about 75 miles south of Columbus, was not returned.

Brown, who is being held in the Scioto County jail without bond, faces up to life in prison if convicted, because he is accused of using force against the girls, Hutchinson said.

Deputy sheriffs got a call May 7 from adults at the church who said several girls told them Brown had sex with them numerous times, authorities said.

Two of the three girls said they were raped between January and March of this year, Hutchinson said.

The third girl, who is the victim in the sexual-imposition charge and not a youth-group member, said she was abused from 1999 through 2002. Hutchinson did not know how long Brown worked for the church.

"There were times on the weekends when the youth group, or part of the youth group, would stay at his house," Hutchinson said. "They were all girls staying there."

Brown’s girlfriend would be at his house when the girls were there, but the abuse took place after she went to bed or left, Hutchinson said.

Conkel encouraged anyone who has had contact with the church or with Brown to call her.

"It’s really important that these parents talk to their kids," she said.

Authorities think more victims might exist and ask that anyone with information call the sheriff’s office.

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