Pastor Paul Burress, 43, a controversial preacher who gained national attention in 2014 after he was featured in a documentary on mixed martial arts called “Fight Church,” has been arrested for forcibly touching the “sexual or other intimate parts” of two women.
The arrest comes after years of allegations that he is a sexual abuser who enjoyed life as a swinger.
According to USA Today, Burress was arrested Friday morning by Monroe County sheriff’s deputies on two counts of forcible touching. It is a misdemeanor and is defined in the state penal law as forcibly touching “the sexual or other intimate parts of another person.” The arrest was confirmed by the sheriff’s office spokesman, Cpl. John Helfer, who told CP that Burress “turned himself in at a B Zone substation with his lawyer.”
Helfer said no warrant was issued for Burress’ arrest and his lawyer worked with law enforcement prior to Friday when he was processed and given an appearance ticket. He will be arraigned in the Henrietta Town Court on Sept. 19. If found guilty, Burress could spend up to a year in jail.
Helfer said the charges against the pastor were made by two adult females and they stemmed from separate incidents that occurred in February.
It is unclear if Burress is still pastor of Victory Church in New York. Helfer told CP that “I don’t believe he is any longer employed there but you’d have to check into that.” Burgess is no longer listed on the church’s website. The most recent archive of him listed as senior pastor on Victory’s website was March 21, weeks after the alleged forcible touching occurred.
Victory Church did not respond to requests for comment from CP on Tuesday.
Several reports of sexual impropriety have been made against Burress in the past but none of them amounted to any formal charges before now.
Helfer said he couldn’t speak to any of the earlier allegations but he knows that “in this case that two victims alleged and came forward that these incidents happened (in February). So that’s what we deal with.”
In a letter sent to the leadership team of Victory Church in 2013, an unidentified source complained that he believed he was seduced into administering sensual back-rubs on Burress’ wife, Jill, and repeatedly shown explicit video of the pastor having sex with his wife.
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Source: Christian Post