FBI Arrests Ohio Pastor In Alleged Child Sex Trafficking Operation

An Ohio pastor, along with another man, has been arrested and charged for sex crimes against children, with one of the known victims as young as 14-years old.

CBS News reports the FBI arrested Rev. Cordell Jenkins, 46, and Anthony Haynes, 37,  Thursday (April 7) after they received information connecting the men to sexual activity with minors. Their investigation lead to an operation that allegedly involved Haynes and another woman recruiting, enticing and harboring those under 18 in sex acts. The acts go back three years, with Haynes, along with a woman introducing the teen to other adults to pay for sex—one of them including Jenkins.

READ For When Black & Brown Girls Go Missing & Silence Is An Act Of Violence: A Poetic Tribute

pastor--1491835271
CREDIT: Lucas County Jail

Jenkins (right), the pastor and founder of Abundant Life Ministries in Toledo, also rented a space from the University Bible Fellowship as the pastor of Greater Life Christian Center. The space was used by Jenkins until 2016. Documents from the case claim Jenkins engaged in sexual activity with the teen in motels and his office. It isn’t known which office was used. The Blade reports the Star Academy of Toledo, a charter school from kindergarten to eighth grade, also shares a space with the church. One wing of the school was closed the day the men were arrested.

“As a parent, I would be concerned, but all of my babies here in school are safe,” principal Vincent Riccardi told reporters. “None of the staff in the church have anything to do with our kids. We don’t do programs with them. We have no affiliation with Abundant Life Church, other than we happen to share the building, but they’re not in our area.”

The FBI also noted that the church isn’t involved in the investigation. The Reverend’s wife, Laura Lloyd-Jenkins, is a secretary on the board of trustees for Lucas County Children Services. The day before the men were arrested, Lloyd-Jenkins took a leave of absence for a family matter. Community Commissioner President Pete Gerken released a statement, confirming she isn’t connected to the case. “If this is true it is indefensible for Pastor Jenkins,” he said. “Our county employee remains a county employee… [She], to our knowledge, is not charged and complicit.”

Both men were held without bond on Friday (April 8) and will attend another hearing on April 13.

READ Interview: Akeem Browder Addresses Mayor De Blasio & Renaming Rikers Island After Kalief Browder