Pastor Held in Rape of Church Member

The Ledger [Cocoa FL]
July 1, 2006

The pastor of a Rockledge church has been charged with raping a member of his congregation and is being held without bail, police said.

Solid Life Ministries pastor Jesse French, 43, was arrested June 22 on 10 counts of sexual battery and 15 counts of lewd and lascivious conduct.

A 21-year-old congregant told police that the pastor began abusing her about four months ago after telling her he needed to anoint her with oil. That led to fondling and sex on 10 occasions, she told police. The woman told investigators that she repeatedly tried to stop French, but that he would read the Bible to her and quote Scripture to suggest God wanted them to have sex.


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