Chandler Pastor Charged With Having Sex With 14-Year-Old Girl May Face Charges in Ohio
About two weeks ago, Chandler police arrested a pastor for having sex with a 14-year-old girl in his congregation.
Police say 25-year-old Josh O'Bannion admitted to having sex with the girl at least three times over the the last few months, while serving as youth pastor at the Christ Life Church in Tempe.
Being that this is often how these cases go, we weren't shocked today when two more young girls in the pastor's former congregation made similar allegations.
After hearing about the pastor's arrest here September 15, police in Parma, Ohio, say two girls, also 14, came forward to say that O'Bannion had engaged in sex with them, too, when he was a pastor in their church.
Parma police spokesman Marty Compton tells New Times that while serving at the First United Pentecostal Church of Parma, O'Bannion allegedly had sex with the girls inside the church.
Did we mention that O'Bannion's grandfather is head pastor at the Ohio church?
Compton says O'Bannion served at the church from 2006 until late last year when he came to the Valley.
We can only specilate why O'Bannion left his family-run church to come here, but the allegations stem back to his starting at the Ohio church in 2006.
O'Bannion was back visiting his Ohio congregation earlier this month, before his arrest here. After seeing O'Bannon, Compton says, some of the girls at the church were "spooked."
Compton says the church isn't exactly cooperating in the investigation, that members seem in a state of denial.
"We've seen a lot of these churches try to solve these things in house," Compton says. "Whether he saw [moving to Arizona] as a stepping stone or he was running from something, we don't know yet."
Several calls to the church were not answered or returned.
O'Bannion has not yet been charged in Ohio.
"He's already in custody so there's no real rush to charge him," he says. "We're gonna put together a strong case, take it to a prosecutor, and take it from there."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.