Tennessee pastor arrested on sexual abuse charges

Arrest Jail Generic
(Graphic: WKRN)

KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) – An assistant pastor of a Tennessee church has been charged with sexually assaulting two girls at his home and at the church.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that 62-year-old Jeremy Hugh McDowell was arrested Thursday on charges including sexual battery by an authority figure, aggravated sexual battery and rape of a child.

An investigator with the Department of Children’s Services told the Roane County Sheriff’s Office that McDowell abused the girls, ages 12 and 17, at his home and at the Spoken Word Ministry Church. The sheriff’s office says the investigator told them that McDowell threatened the family of the girls after they confronted him about the accusations.

According to an indictment, the assaults occurred between July 2014 and July 2016.

It’s unclear if McDowell has an attorney.