LES Minister Charged with Raping Girl

Abuse lasted for two years, officials say

A Baptist church youth minister was charged with raping and sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl who had attended at his Lower East Side church, authorities said Friday.

The girl had suffered two years of sexual abuse, beginning when she was 12 years old and ending only when a second girl recently complained about the suspect's behavior, according to the Manhattan District Attorney.

Suspect Jeremy Fulton, 27, had been working at the Mariner's Temple Baptist Church for the past seven years and was also associate director of the Mariner's Education Center, said DA Robert Morgenthau.

A phone call and email to the church's pastor was not immediately returned. The church's website calls Mariner's Temple, on Henry Street, the oldest Baptist church in Manhattan, established in 1795.

Fulton was arrested two days before Thanksgiving while visiting relatives in Baltimore, authorities said. The indictment charges him with rape, predatory sexual assault against a child, criminal sexual conduct against a child and endangering the welfare of a child, but the investigation is ongoing.

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