A church service in Jacksonville, Florida, was interrupted this Wednesday when the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrested the church’s head pastor who was the subject of a long investigation that started with a tip regarding possible sexual abuse in 2020, First Coast News reports.
Pastor Paul Dyal of the Assembly of the Body of Christ was jailed on charges of capital sexual battery on a child under 12. Two other church associates, Vernon Williamson and Jerome Teschendorf, were arrested in Oklahoma on charges of capital sexual battery.
Sources tell First Coast News that there are multiple alleged victims who say they were abused by one or all three of the men as children in incidents dating back to the 1980s.
One woman, who is 50 now, claims she was abused from the ages of five to 14. Another woman alleges she was seven when she was sexually battered.
JSO officials spoke with numerous victims and witnesses over the course of the investigation. Because of these interviews, investigators have reason to believe there are additional people involved in the physical and sexual abuse.
Watch First Coast News’ report on the story below: