Three Ohio Pastors Indicted In Child Sex Trafficking Operation
A federal grand jury indicted a third Ohio pastors in an alleged child sex trafficking operation, U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony announced Tuesday (Nov. 14).
Cordell Jenkins, Anthony Haynes and Kenneth Butler were indicted on a new charge of conspiracy to sex traffic children as part of an 11-count superseding indictment.
“These three men violated the trust of these children and the communities they purported to serve,” Herdman said. “We are grateful for the courage of the victims and the dedication of our law enforcement personnel in bringing these men to justice.”
All three men pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Haynes, 38, Butler, 37, and Jenkins, 47, are accused of sexually assaulting a then 14-year-old girl beginning in 2014 through 2017.
The young girl was in the “custody of Haynes,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Some of the alleged sexual abuse reportedly occurred at Greater Life Christian Center in Toldeo, where Haynes was a pastor at the time.
Prosecutors allege that Jenkins also paid the girl, recorded the sexual assaults on his cell phone, and facilitated “the victim being sexually exploited by several other men.” According to court documents, Jenkins sexually exploited the girl at his home, a motel, and his office at the Abundant Life Ministries in Toledo.
Additionally, Jenkins is accused of causing another minor to engage in commercial sex acts in March 2017. Butler is also accused of pimping out another juvenile between 2015 and 2017.
Jenkins’ lawyer Allison Folmar noted that the “very serious allegations,” haven’t been “easy” for her client to deal with. “But he’s a very strong individual,” she said.
The men are named on one indictment, but are not all facing the same charges, another lawyer for Jenkins pointed out.
Besides sex trafficking, Jenkins has also been charged with “sexual exploitation of children,” while Haynes was charged with obstruction of justice.