A religious Maryland trio find themselves praying a little extra harder after succumbing to temptation. The trio includes a Maryland pastor of a Prince George’s County church and a Capitol Police officer. The “holy rollers” are being charged with sexually abusing four at-risk teen girls that were participating in a church-run outreach program for troubled youth.
Pastor Joshua Wright, 67, is the head pastor of Oxon Hill Assembly of Jesus Christ in Fort Washington, Md. He was arrested along with his son, William Wright, 46, a minister at the church. The pastor’s son-in-law, Donald Jackson, 40, was also taken into custody.
Minister William Wright is also a Capitol Police officer reports WTOP. He has since been taken off duty according to Capitol Police spokeswoman, Eva Malecki.
According to charging documents, the abuse began in 2001 and lasted seven years. The four girls were between the ages of 15 and 18 at the time of the alleged sexual assault. The girls were taking part in a church-sanctioned program called Children Having Overcoming Power or “CHOP” for short. The purpose of the program was to provide troubled youth with homes to live in provided by other church members and education classes taught at the church.
Innocent enough and in theory a great and much needed tool in many under-funded communities.
“They didn’t stay at the church, but they stayed at church members’ homes,” Cpt. Anthony Schartner with the Prince George’s County Police Department explained. “In general, the program was to support children who were high at-risk youth.”
The program was shuttered in 2011 but no reason has been reported as to why the program ended. The sexual assaults is assumed to play a part in the shutting down of the program.
According to detectives the teens were assaulted in multiple locations including the church and the homes of the pastor, his son, and his son-in-law. They were also sexually assaulted at various parks around the city.
Fox 5 reports:
According to investigators, Jackson and William Wright have confessed to the crimes. William Wright remains in custody while Jackson and Joshua Wright are out on bail, police stated. FOX 5 has attempted to reach out to Jackson and Joshua Wright for comment but have not been able to reach them at this time.
Authorities believe that there may be more victims in Maryland and are encouraging anyone with information to step forward and contact the local authorities. You can call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Unit at 301-772-4930. Callers who want to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com.