Chandler Pastor Charged With Having Sex With a 14-Year-Old Girl Indicted on Unrelated Charges in Ohio
The Chandler pastor charged with having sex with a 14-year-old girl at the Christ Life Church in Tempe has been formally indicted on similar but separate charges in Parma, Ohio.
Joshua O'Bannion, 25, was indicted on four counts of sexual battery and three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
The indictments were expected.
We spoke with Parma police officials back in September, when the complaints against O'Bannion were made. They told us they were in no rush to charge O'Bannion because he was already in custody in Arizona.
The charges in Ohio came after news broke that O'Bannion had been charged with having sex with a young girl in Tempe and two girls at his former parish came forward and told police they had also been victimized.
O'Bannion's family runs the First United Pentecostal Church in Parma, where his grandfather served as head pastor until 2008. The church is also where police claim O'Bannion had sex with the two underage girls.
It is unclear why O'Bannion left his family-run church to come to Arizona, but the allegations of abuse go back as far as 2006 and Parma police think O'Bannion's move to Arizona and his having sex with young children in the church may be related.
"We've seen a lot of these churches try to solve these things in house," Parma police spokesman Marty Compton told us in September. "Whether he saw [moving to Arizona] as a stepping stone, or he was running from something, we don't know yet."
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