The senior pastor of a North Carolina church was arrested Thursday after two people alleged that he sexually assaulted them when they were minors at a former church where he worked.
Brian Mahiques, the 41-year-old pastor of the nondenominational Encounter Church in Concord, was charged with two counts of statutory sexual offense of a child and three counts of indecent liberties with a minor.
Mahiques is being held in the Cabarrus County Jail under a $1 million bond.
According to the Concord Police Department, the investigation into Mahiques’ alleged actions began in spring 2019. The investigation was initiated after the first victim told his or her parents that they had been sexually assaulted by Mahiques when he was a youth pastor at The Refuge Church in Concord.
According to a police statement, the victim alleged that Mahiques sexually assaulted him or her “numerous times” between 2005 and 2006 when he was on staff at The Refuge Church, which has since moved to a new location.
“During the course of the investigation, the second victim was located who indicated they, too, had been sexually assaulted by Mahiques during that time frame and was also a member of the same youth group,” the police statement adds.
Police investigators are continuing to conduct follow-up interviews to determine if there are other alleged victims.
Encounter Church released a statement on its website explaining that the church’s board is “aware of allegations that were brought forward concerning Pastor Brian Mahiques.”
“We are waiting for the due process of law to unfold,” the church’s statement reads. “Meanwhile, we pray for truth, light, and grace to abound, inviting the Spirit of God to lead us in these moments. Just as our church supports fellow members in good times, we also stand beside them offering prayer and strength in difficult times.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith