An Indiana pastor faces a laundry list of felony charges after police say they have identified multiple child molestation victims over a month-long investigation.
According to the Indianapolis Star, 72-year-old Garry Evans, who had been the pastor of Rushville Baptist Temple for three decades, became the subject of an investigation in early September after a 3-year-old girl reported alleged abuse to her mother.
After the woman reported her daughter’s claim to the Department of Child Services, police say they determined other girls might have been similarly abused — and they’re asking other parents to be on the lookout for additional possible victims.
“If you have a child who has exhibited unusual behavior after being in the vicinity of the church or this pastor and you believe there has been something that has happened to this child that might indicate something inappropriate happened, we definitely want them to give us a call,” advised Rushville Police Chief Craig Tucker.
Court documents show the initial complainant told police that Evans lured her into his church office with the promise of candy. She reportedly said he went on to pull down his pants, force her to touch his genitals and instructed her to keep the incident a secret.
Investigators used that report as the basis to secure a search warrant for Rushville Baptist Church, where Evans had been pastor for three decades.
Two additional possible victims were identified after another mother heard of the allegations and decided to ask her two daughters about their experience with the pastor. She later contacted police with her concerns and her 5- and 7-year-old girls were invited to talk to authorities.
The older girl reportedly said Evans touched her inappropriately each time she went to church.
In addition to the first girl, WXIN reported that police interviewed a total of four other girls under 10 years old who alleged Evans molested them.
Each time, authorities reported that the girls said they entered his office expecting candy.
One girl alleged that Evans laughed when she tried to stop his advances, according to police. Another was allegedly able to leave the room after his behavior made her feel uncomfortable.
As of the latest reports available, Evans was in custody at Rush County Jail without bond. He faces charges including three counts of child molestation, four counts of sexual battery, and five counts of child solicitation.
[Featured image: Rushville Police Department]