9 Nov 2010

Grace Christian Fellowship pastor, formerly Baptist pastor, charged with child porn and sexual torture

Associated Baptist Press - October 29, 2009

Former Alabama pastor charged with child abuse, porn possession

By Bob Allen | Senior Writer ABP

ANDALUSIA, Ala. (ABP) -- A former Alabama Baptist pastor is being held on $24.2 million bond after his arrest Oct. 21 on 152 counts of possessing child pornography and sexual abuse of young boys.

Ralph Lee Aaron, 54, was fired as pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Andalusia, Ala. Before coming to the church a little more than three years ago, Aaron was pastor of Victory Baptist Church in the county-seat town of 9,000 in southern Alabama.

Accused child molestor Ralph Aaron was investigated in 2005 while pastor of a Southern Baptist church.

According to media reports, Aaron was investigated while at his former church in 2005 for allegedly making a verbal sexual advance to a youngster. No charges were filed, because it was a misdemeanor and the statute of limitations had run out by the time the complaint was filed.

Most of the charges now filed against Aaron are for production or possession of obscene matter. Three counts are for sexual torture, three are for first-degree sodomy and eight are for sexual abuse of a child younger than 12.

Prosecutors plan to seek multiple life sentences if they get a conviction, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities say Aaron had multiple male victims ranging in age from 8 to 10. Police said the acts occurred on church camping trips. Police said there is also evidence of other abuse at Aaron's residence, but it is not believed that any of the abuse occurred at the church building.

Aaron is being held in the Covington County Jail, where he is separated from the general population for his own safety. Officials described him as stoic and seemingly lacking remorse.

In 2007 The Alabama Baptist reviewed a print-on-demand book written by Aaron titled Focusing the Eye of the Soul, reportedly adapted from his doctoral thesis at Covington Theological Seminary in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

The back cover identifies Aaron as being retired from the Navy with a "comprehensively diversified" work background including author, various management roles as well as music director, youth leader and pastor.

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