Man Facing Sex Charge Is Ex-Minister

By Betty Jespersen
Morning Sentinel
July 1, 2006

Wilton -- A 79-year-old Wilton man charged last week with attempted unlawful sexual contact with a boy during a church function was a former minister who stepped down two years ago following a similar charge that involved a girl.

Alton Walston, who is charged with the Class C felony of attempted unlawful sexual contact, no longer has ministerial credentials, The Rev. Rick Stoops, the superintendent of a Pentecostal organization in Maine, said Friday.

In 2004, Walston was charged with felony unlawful sexual contact but after negotiations, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual touching. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, all suspended, and one year probation, which expired in April. Because it was a misdemeanor, he was not required to file as a sex offender with the state.

The new allegations will be presented to the next Franklin County grand jury later this summer, according to the Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson.

"(Walston) holds no position with the church in Wilton. He is not a minister and holds no ministerial credentials," Stoop said.

Walston's wife, Sharon, who had shared the ministerial job with her husband until two years ago, is now the pastor and her husband attends the church, Stoop said.

Stoop reminds the public that the charges against the former minister are only allegations. "This has to go through the court system to see if it is a true allegation or not before everyone brands this man."

The recent incident allegedly occurred two weeks before summer vacation began and took place at a church supper, according to Robinson and the county's sexual abuse investigator, Detective David St. Laurent. According to Robinson, the boy alleges Walston attempted to sexually touch him in a church office.

Walston remains out of jail on $50,000 surety, or real estate, bail with the conditions he have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 or the victim and he cannot leave the state.


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