March 12, 2006

Investigation focuses on A.M.E. pastor

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Tim Townsend

A pastor and former St. Louis community leader is being investigated by the St. Louis circuit attorney's office and the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Missouri and California over allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

The Rev. Sylvester Laudermill Jr., who had been a pastor in St. Louis from 1994 to 2004, stepped down last week from his position at Ward A.M.E. church in Los Angeles.

A pastor of an A.M.E. church in Los Angeles said the church has launched an internal investigation against Laudermill in that city.

Several attempts to reach Laudermill at his home were unsuccessful, and calls to Laudermill's attorney in St. Louis were not returned. A.M.E. church officials refused to talk about their investigations. In December, a 25-year-old male went to St. Louis police and A.M.E. church officials regarding Laudermill. In an interview last week, he said he told them that Laudermill began a sexual relationship with him when he was 14.

Posted by kshaw at March 12, 2006 01:32 PM