July 16, 2005

Trial begins in 2003 child molestation case

Savannah Morning News

Kelly Cramer

The child molestation trial of a self-proclaimed pastor who prosecutors say often prayed and read the Bible to his victims after sexually assaulting them began Wednesday.

Chatham County Assistant District Attorney Greg McConnell said in his opening statement that an associate pastor at St. Luke's Baptist Church, James Simpson, encouraged the four girls to attend church and sing in the choir over the six years he was molesting them.

"The evidence will show that when his wife got sick with Alzheimer's, while she was dying, his relationship with the girls changed," McConnell said.

In October 2003, a Chatham County grand jury indicted Simpson, 69, of the 700 block of East 39th Street, on 19 counts of child molestation and sexual acts. The indictment charges a single count each of aggravated sexual battery and statutory rape, three counts of aggravated child molestation and four counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes.

Posted by kshaw at July 16, 2005 08:13 AM