Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Police ask for info on accused ex-pastor

MANSFIELD — City police want to hear from News Journal readers who might know something about the John Picard case.

John Picard is charged with 10 counts of sexual battery.Picard, 40, of Springboro, was arrested last month and charged with 10 counts of sexual battery. He is accused of having sexual relations with a teenage parishioner starting in 1992, when she was 13, and continuing until she reached adulthood. Picard was a youth pastor at Grace Brethren Church on Marion Avenue at the time.

Picard was being held in the Richland County Jail on a $250,000 cash bond.

Police especially want to hear from people who have posted on the forums of the News Journal’s Web site.

“There’s been a lot of comments, people saying that they’ve had information,” Lt. Allen Vandayburg said. “The one person said Picard had confided in him.


“The ones who lead us to believe they know the most have not come forward. If they’re putting that out there for all to see, they should want law enforcement to have that information, I would think.”


Vandayburg and Detective Jeff Shook went to Springboro and arrested Picard on July 17.


He waived an extradition hearing and pleaded innocent to all charges.


Shook previously told the News Journal some of the alleged abuse occurred in the church “under cloak of counseling behind closed doors,” while other reported incidents happened at Picard’s 419 Sloane Ave. residence.


Vandayburg said Picard has not been involved with Grace Brethren for about four years. He reportedly was been working in Springboro for a steel company for some time before moving there three or four months ago. Vandayburg said Picard still has a house for sale in Mansfield.


The Richland County Prosecutor’s Office presented Picard’s case to the August grand jury earlier this month. Vandayburg wants to make sure police are able to turn over as much evidence as possible.


“We want to make this case so overwhelming,” he said. “We don’t want to put these girls through a trial.”


That’s why police are appealing to News Journal readers.


“If he’s made admissions, that’s what we want to know,” Vandayburg said. “This is real important to these girls and their families who want to move on with their lives and put this behind them.”


http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080810/NEWS01/808100338/1002

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August 10, 2008 - Posted by | Grand Theft Pastors

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