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Pennsylvania minister charged with sex crimes, dies

The position of trust that pastors hold is one of the highest outside of a child's parents. When that trust is violated by one of these trusted individuals, the victims may struggle with the emotional harm throughout their lives. Conversely, false allegations can also leave permanent scars on the one who has been accused. One Pennsylvania pastor was accused of committing dozens of sex crimes against a young child several years ago.

The 61-year-old man was the minister in charge of a congregation where the victim's parents attended services. The alleged illicit contact with the child occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The man was charged with committing 30 different counts of sexual abuse. It was unclear when the charges were filed or when the allegations first came to light.

The man's case was scheduled to be heard in court this month. However, police have now announced that the pastor was discovered dead after allegedly taking his own life. They have further released the information that the former worship leader did leave behind a missive repeating his claims of innocence in relation to the charges.

If the accused pastor had enumerated his reasons for his apparent suicide, Pennsylvania officials have not made those public. The majority of those accused of crimes -- whether they are allegations of sex crimes or other criminal charges -- do not make such an irrevocable decision. Instead, most choose to pursue their rights to justice by maintaining their innocence and challenging the evidence that prosecutors may attempt to use against them. There are knowledgeable resources that can provide information and help with gathering evidence and launching a compelling defense against any charges that one may face. Having their day in court may be the best opportunity one has to clear his or her name and put to rest any allegations of wrongdoing permanently.

Source: upi.com, "Pastor accused of sex crimes commits suicide", Matt Bradwell, May 14, 2014

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