February 15, 2005

Jury selection begins in trial of Baker pastor

The Advocate

2theadvocate.com staff
From a report by WBRZ's Ken Pastorick

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a Baker minister who faces several child molestation charges.

Rev. Benny McFarland faces three counts of sexual battery, one count of oral sexual battery, three counts of molestation of a juvenile, two counts of aggravated crimes against nature and one count of second-degree kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The alleged crimes occurred between five and 15 years ago at McFarland's church, at his home and at Prescott Middle School where he taught, according to the men who claim they were molested.

"He needs to go to prison, but I just want him away from other children," said Justin Hurst, who says McFarland took advantage of him beginning when he was 8 years old. "It doesn't make any sense that he's still around. That's the part that really hurts me the most."

Posted by kshaw at February 15, 2005 09:02 AM