March 21, 2006

Norwich ex-pastor pleads not guilty

Norwich Bulletin

Norwich Bulletin

NEW LONDON -- A former Norwich pastor pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he molested a young girl during a church function at his Norwich home.

Charles Johnson Jr., 52, of 35 Fourteenth St., stood rigidly beside attorney Peter Bartinik Jr. during a brief appearance in New London Superior Court.

The former head of the Norwich Assembly of God faces charges of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of risk of injury to a minor for two alleged incidents involving the daughter of church member who also claims she was inappropriately groped.

His arrest in February was the result of a three-month investigation involving the Norwich Police and Department of Children and Families.

The investigation was prompted by the admission of a 14-year-old girl who became uncomfortable reading a book in which a girl was raped. She told a teacher at her school she was abused, court documents show.

Posted by kshaw at March 21, 2006 07:52 AM