Fugitive pastor charged with statutory sodomy

Investigators believe Newton County church linked to McDonald County cases

Joplin Globe/August 23, 2006

The Newton County sheriff today said authorities are seeking George O. Johnston, 63, on warrants charging him with eight counts of statutory sodomy. Johnston is the pastor of Grandview Valley Baptist Church North on Hebron Road in Newton County, which investigators believed is affiliated with Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church near Powell in McDonald County.

Four children were removed Monday from a compound where church members live near East Newton High School. The sheriff said the charges against Johnston involve acts of sexual abuse committed with children of church members over a four-year span.

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