THOMPSON – The pastor of a Baptist church in Susquehanna County is facing sex charges in New York State. Loren Winn of Thompson is accused of inappropriately touching a 16-year-old girl in 2011.
At the Thompson Baptist Church, members attended services as usual this weekend, listening to their pastor preach in Susquehanna County.
Sheriffs in Broome County, New York say that same pastor, Loren Winn, is accused of forcibly touching a 16-year-old girl there and endangering the welfare of the child a few years ago.
Rob Severs lives just across the street from Thompson Baptist Church and heard of the accusations that upset many in this small community.
"It’s disgusting. It’s upsetting. It’s just very, very sad that we live in a world like that," said Severs.
According to court papers, the alleged inappropriate contact began in March of 2011 in the Town of Maine, New York, near Binghamton. The alleged victim told detectives the abuse would happen after Sunday service in the First Baptist Church of Maine’s gym.
She said, “Every Sunday he would start kissing me and touching me. At first, the touching was over my clothes but (it) eventually progressed to him touching me under my clothes.”
Some church members say despite these allegations the pastor was there preaching just this past Sunday and they hope he’s here to say.
"Very much so, he’s a very honest man. He’s a trustworthy man, and like I said, there’s two sides to every story,” said Earl Cottrell of Thompson.
Cottrell says he grew up in Thompson and attended this Baptist church his entire life. Cottrell learned of the allegations when his pastor called him.
"He was asking me to pray for him, that everything gets straightened out and I have been doing that," said Cottrell.
Thompson’s mayor also only had kind words for the pastor who serves this congregation and previously Buckingham Baptist Church in Wayne County.
“He’s really a good pastor that I heard, really well-respected man in Thompson borough. He’s well known as helping people," said Mayor James Delaney.
The pastor was home when we stopped by the Thompson Baptist Church. When he answered the door he said he had no comment about the allegations.