An Ohio-based Christian nonprofit admitted that two of its managers knew for years that one of its employed missionaries serving in Haiti had engaged in sexual activity with minors but allowed him to serve for the organization anyway.
NBC News reports that 38-year-old Ohio native Jeriah Mast, who served Christian Aid Ministries, was indicted in Holmes County court in July for sexual imposition crimes involving children under the ages of 16 that took place in Ohio between 1998 and 2008.
He was indicted on seven felony charges of gross sexual imposition and seven misdemeanor charges of sexual imposition. Defense attorney John Johnson Jr. told the national news outlet that his client pleads not guilty to the charges.
A jury trial is slated to begin on Nov. 5.
In a June open letter, CAM’s board of directors disclosed that Mast is also accused of sexually abusing minors while serving with the charity in Haiti.
“It is already well known that our former employee, Jeriah Mast, has confessed to molesting boys while working for our organization in Haiti,” an open letter from the charity’s board of directors issued in June reads. “It is also well known that he has fled the country of Haiti and is residing in the United States. It is understood that he is wanted in Haiti for his crimes.”
CAM was founded in 1981 as a “channel for Amish, Mennonite, and other conservative Anabaptist groups and individuals to minister to physical and spiritual needs around the world.”
The charity’s board of directors claims that it had no knowledge of Mast’s alleged abuse until May 2019 when Mast confessed to his congregation at Shining Light Christian Fellowship in Millersburg the day after he returned from Haiti.
However, the board of directors admitted that two of its managers, Paul Weaver and Eli Weaver, allowed Mast to continue to serve in the field even after he confessed in 2013 to engaging in sexual activity with young men in years prior.
According to CAM’s lawyer, Robert Flores, the abuse that Mast admitted to in 2013 “had taken place several years prior in Haiti.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith