Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Out-of-town jury to hear sex case against Granby pastor

A Feb. 26 court date has been set for the trial of Granby pastor George Otis Johnston, 63, on felony sex charges involving an underaged girl. Today's Joplin Globe says that during a hearing Monday Newton County Circuit Court Judge Tim Perigo approved a request for a change of venue, then took the once unusual, but now more commonplace step of importing a jury that will be sequestered during the trial, which is certain to receive much publicity. Johnston's alleged crimes were recounted in the article, including this passage about the alleged victim:

She testified that children in the church were taught to regard Johnston as "Grandpa," and that his approval was sought by church members on a variety of family matters, including instruction of their children. It was during one such consultation in Johnston's trailer home when she was 8 that he first sexually abused her by taking her onto his lap and touching her genitals with his hand, the girl testified. Johnston allegedly told her he was "ordained by God to fulfill her needs," and that she "shouldn't feel any shame about it." The girl testified that he continued having such sexual contact with her two or more times a week until she left the church at the end of April of this year.

The arraignment of Johnston, who is the pastor of the Grandview Valley North Church, will be held Thursday. Johnston is one of six area church leaders, including five from the Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church who have been charged with felony sex crimes related to ritual sex with underaged girls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Johnston:
You can run but hopefully you can't hide!!
May justice on you be served wherever your trial ends up.