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Former preacher faces charges in child molestation case

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Posted: December 13, 2006 5:57 p.m.
Updated: December 29, 2006 5:00 a.m.
    A former Baptist church pastor and convicted sex offender faced Bulloch County Superior Court Judge William T. Woodrum Monday for a first appearance on child molestation charges.
    James Russell Rogers, 71, Pennington Gap, Va., returned to the Bulloch County Jail after the arraignment. He is being held without bond as he awaits the next court proceedings, according to jail records.
     Rogers is charged with two counts of child molestation and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes stemming from a Sept. incident in which he is accused of indecent behavior involving an 11-year-old child at Leefield Baptist Church.
    Rogers previously served as pastor of the church, said Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel, referring to reports filed regarding the incident.
    Current Leefield Baptist Church Pastor Robert Black confirmed Rogers was once pastor of the church, but declined to comment upon Roger's arrest.
    McDaniel said Rogers was visiting Leefield Baptist Church last summer when a church employee found him in the church nursery with an 11-year-old girl. After the church employee spoke with the child about the incident, the girl told her mother what happened during the encounter, he said.
    The girl's family contacted the Bulloch County  Department of Family and Children Services, who then notified sheriff's investigators, he said.
    The victim's testimony and other evidence led to Rogers' arrest on the child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes charges, McDaniel said.
    Rogers was convicted in a 1986 child molestation case in McIntosh County, according to information from the Georgia Department of Corrections web site (www.dcor.state.ga.us).
    Sentenced to 10 years, Rogers served just over three years of the sentence before being released in Oct. 1990.
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