| News |

Chandler Pastor Charged With Having Sex With a 14-Year-Old Girl Indicted on Unrelated Charges in Ohio

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

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."

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.