Three pastors in Toledo, Ohio, appeared in a U.S. District Court Tuesday after receiving federal indictments charging them with conspiracy to sex traffic children.
Rev. Cordell Jenkins, 47, Rev. Anthony Haynes, 38, and the Rev. Kenneth Butler, 37, (pictured above from left to right) face life in prison for the 11 counts served by a federal grand jury charging them with conspiracy to sex traffic children, reported the Toledo Blade.
All three of the men pleaded not guilty, reported Cleveland 19.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by all three pastors in 2014. It was during this time that the men were believed to begin their conspiracy to entice girls to have sex for money.
Between 2014 and 2017, Rev. Haynes allegedly prepared the girl to become a prostitute. He is accused of recording the sexual assaults on his cellphone and giving her money after. He also instructed the girl not to tell anyone because of the consequences it could have on his church and family, according to prosecutors.
Haynes also is accused of introducing the teen to other men for sexual activity.
Rev. Jenkins, according to prosecutors, is believed to have sexually exploited the same unidentified girl at her home and a motel between December 2016 and March 2017. Prosecutors said he paid the then 14-year-old “hush money” of $100-$300 after they’d have sex.
Jenkins is accused of paying for sex acts with a second underage girl in March.
Rev. Butler is charged with trafficking a third underage girl between 2015 and March 2017. According to court documents, the girl told investigators she met Butler at Haynes’ church when she was 15.
The girl said Butler would give her rides home and she had sex with him in his car twice. After one encounter, he gave her money, prosecutors say.
Both Haynes and Butler are charged with obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation. Haynes allegedly attempted to destroy electronic evidence while Butler allegedly told a person to lie to law enforcement.
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