CHARDON, Ohio — A Geauga County pastor has been arrested after allegedly sexually abusing minors between November 2019 and January 2023.
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According to the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, 37-year-old Dennis Laferty is facing the following charges:
- Five counts of sexual battery
- One count of gross sexual imposition
- One count of sexual imposition
Officials told 3News that Laferty was arrested in Crawford County, near Mansfield. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday and was issued a $100,000 bond.
Following the allegations, the Thompson United Methodist Church suspended Laferty as pastor, with the admin council releasing the following statement via Facebook Saturday morning:
"We have recently been made aware of very concerning allegations regarding Pastor Dennis Laferty. Please be aware that we are taking matters very seriously and allowing the appropriate authorities to take action. At this time, we ask that you pray for our church and community, and that answers may be brought in a just manner. Please know that we at Thompson United Methodist Church do not condone any form of harm to any person and we care for all our members. To ensure the protection of our congregation and community Dennis has been suspended as Pastor."
3News will continue to update the story as we learn more details.