Associate pastor charged with Paragould sex crime

PARAGOULD, Ark. (AP) - Paragould police have arrested a former associate pastor for allegedly having sex with an underage girl who attended his church.

The Paragould Daily Press reported Thursday that 26-year-old Ben Johnson faces two counts of third-degree sexual assault. Police were notified after the victim's parents found a text message by their daughter in which she discussed sneaking out to see Johnson. The girl told police that she and Johnson twice had sex in the parsonage at the church. She said Johnson once gave her liquor.

Johnson was associate pastor at First United Methodist Church. Police revealed the arrest Wednesday. Johnson was arrested late in September and had a court appearance on Monday.

Information from: Paragould Daily Press,

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