Local News

Bond lowered for Sunday school teacher accused of molesting girls at Johnston church

Posted September 6, 2018 2:24 p.m. EDT

— A judge on Thursday lowered the bond for a Johnston County man being held on charges that he molested members of a Benson church where he served as a Sunday school teacher.

The bail for Jonathan Young, 34, of Benson, was lowered from $1 million to $400,000. Young faces six charges of first-degree rape of a child, three charges of statutory rape, two charges of first-degree sexual offense and two charges of indecent liberties with a child.

Young is a Sunday school teacher at the Firstborn Baptist Church, which is where some of the incidents occurred, authorities said.

Investigators at the Johnston County Sheriff's Department said the allegations date back as far as 15 years ago and involve three girls. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between 2003 and 2014, and the youngest victim was 7 years old when she was molested, investigators said.

Detectives first looked into an allegation against Young in 2014, but investigators were unable to find enough evidence to bring charges, authorities said.

Multiple victims came forward recently, allowing the sheriff's office to build a case against Young, authorities said.

Girls who grew up at the church have alleged years of sexual abuse by Young, misconduct that some former church members say church leaders knew about but did nothing to stop.

Church leaders say there was no cover-up.

Authorities said they cannot rule out the possibility that there may be additional victims.