Pastor accused of sex with girl

Dayton Daily News/November 23, 2006
By Anthony Gottschlich

Dayton — A Riverside pastor accused of sexually assaulting female members of his congregation was charged Wednesday with eight counts of sexual battery against a 15-year-old girl.

If convicted on all counts, Dennis Bowling of Kingdom Harvest Church faces up to 80 years in prison, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck Jr. said.

Bowling, 45, could face additional charges.

"There are at least nine other potential victims that we are aware of," ranging in age 10 to 16, Heck said.

Heck said the assaults involving the 15-year-old include "sexual contact, intercourse and touching" and occurred from September to this month.

Heck believes Bowling has been dismissed as pastor of Kingdom Harvest, 2360 Valley Pike, where authorities say Bowling has served as pastor for 19 years.

Church staff members could not be reached for comment. The church is also the site of the Christian Training Center, a school for grades two through 12 that has 27 students and one teacher, according to the Ohio Department of Education. The "non-public, non-chartered" school receives no public funding and is not required to follow state education guidelines.

Bowling, a Huber Heights resident married with children, was arrested early Tuesday by Riverside police and Miami County sheriff's deputies at a relative's home in northern Miami County. The arrest followed a Monday evening meeting between police and a group of women associated with the church who phoned police with the allegations, claiming Bowling sexually assaulted at least a dozen female church members over the past decade.

Bowling is being held in Montgomery County Jail.

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