Pastor Of Tulsa Church In Custody For Lewd Molestation
OWASSO, Oklahoma - A fugitive task force tracked down a Tulsa pastor, wanted for six counts of lewd molestation. Police said he developed a sexual relationship with an underage girl.
Wednesday was a long day for police as they tried to locate and arrest 32-year-old Damien Bonner, the senior pastor at Galilee Baptist Church.
Police say church members taking the pastor's side and are not cooperating.
Bonner is accused of molesting a 14-year-old member of his Galilee Baptist Church congregation. The young girl came forward last month and told police the senior pastor abused her.
"An inappropriately close relationship between an adult and child," said Jason Woodruff with the Owasso Police.
Woodruff said the sexual abuse happened at Bonner's Owasso apartment, where he no longer lives, but the relationship began at church.
"He had bought her a cell phone, and bought her clothes and things like that, in an attempt to gain that trust and then took advantage of that trust," Woodruff said.
Wednesday, just after 5:00 p.m., members of the Northern Oklahoma Violent Crimes Task Force took Bonner into custody.
News On 6 called the church for comment but got hung up on.
Woodruff said the church has been less than cooperative, continuing to defend Bonner.
"We don't want to live in a society where you can't trust anyone, but keep your eyes open, look for the warning signs, look for if that relationship goes beyond just a mentor or a friendship type relationship," Woodruff said.
Police said Bonner is charged with six counts of lewd molestation because the abuse happened on several occasions. He's being held on $300,000 bond.