CROSS COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – Apastor accused of raping a minor appeared in a Cross County courtroom Thursday.
According to the Cross CountyCircuit Clerk's Office, James Edward Davis had his court date continued toMonday March 12.
James Edward Davis, pastorof Morning Star Baptist Church, is charged with four counts of raping a minor.
According to police,deputies arrested Davis after a middle school counselor reported the pastor tothe Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children's Division child abusehotline.
After hearing the news ofhis pastor's arrest, Morning Star Baptist Church deacon L.C. Brown said thereis no room for the court of public opinion in the investigation. "I don'tknow if he did it. The only one know (sic) is him, and the girl, and the goodLord, and we cannot judge, and the Bible say (sic) who without cast the firststone."
Police said the mother ofthe middle school student is in jail, and Davis is the former boyfriend of themother. The family of the girl allowed her to live with the pastor and hiscurrent wife while the mother of the girl is in jail.
Police said she describedincidents dating back to 2010, one in which the pastor told the girl she couldhave sex with him in place of being punished. Deacon Brown said it is hard forhim to believe his pastor of more than three years is capable of committingthose crimes. "I think he's a good man. We don't ever know what's going tohappen to us," he said.
Family members of thevictim said she is now pregnant.
Deacon Brown said the bestthing for people to do right now is let justice run its course. "Just letthe courts make their decision. Then, we'll know what to do, but we can't judgethat man. We don't know what he did."
Davis posted a $50,000 bondafter a judge lowered it from $500,000. He is set to appear again on MondayMarch 12.
Region 8 News will continueto track this story and bring you the latest details as soon as they becomeavailable.