May 05, 2006

Charges dropped against minister

Gwinnett Daily Post


By Andria Simmons
Staff Writer

LAWRENCEVILLE - Child molestation charges that haunted the pastor of a small church in Norcross for the past 15 months have been dropped.
The announcement Thursday afternoon at a press conference at Faith Life Fellowship Church confirms what the family and congregation of the Rev. Nathan Ridgeway have maintained all along - Ridgeway is innocent.
"When something like this comes about in a pastor's life, it tarnishes their reputation in the community," Ridgeway said in a brief telephone interview earlier Thursday. "I have been wounded in a very bad way. I need a chance to go on."
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said there was not enough evidence to prosecute Ridgeway on allegations that he molested a 3-year-old member of his immediate family.
"Basically what we had available to us was the statement of the victim that was unsupported by any other evidence," said Porter, who said the decision to drop charges was made on April 6. "There was just not enough to support the victim's statement, and there were some inconsistencies within the statement that we just didn't believe was sufficient to prosecute."

Posted by kshaw at May 5, 2006 05:39 AM