Trial date delayed for two local pastors in child sex trafficking case

Published: Nov. 14, 2017 at 6:49 PM EST
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The trial date for two Toledo pastors accused of sex trafficking minors has been delayed to late October.

Anthony Haynes, has until September 5 to take a plea deal. He originally refused a plea deal. However, since he now has new legal representation, his deadline to respond to a deal has been extended.

The trial date is set for October 29, 2018. The judge also denied a request to move to trial from Toledo to Cleveland.

One suspects, Cordell Jenkins, opted not to take a plea deal and to go to trial in the case.

Cordell's wife, Laura Lloyd-Jenkins, 43, is also charged with obstructing a sex trafficking investigation and making a false statement in the case. She also refused a plea deal and is set to go to trial.

Kenneth Butler previously changed his plea from "not guilty" to "guilty." He faces charges stemming from allegations of sex trafficking children, conspiracy to sex traffic children and obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation.

The plea calls for 17 years in prison. He's set to be sentenced Sept. 12 at 9:30 a.m.

“This defendant has admitted to crimes that include preying on a foster child who was previously the victim of sexual abuse, and he committed these crimes in a house of worship,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “Butler may hold himself out to the community as a pastor, but in the eyes of the law he is a criminal who pays money to sexually assault children.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony said: “The FBI is pleased that Kenneth Butler has acknowledged the criminal behavior he inflicted on a vulnerable minor. The FBI will continue efforts to identify and prosecute those that coerce and exploit our youth through sex trafficking.”

Cordell Jenkins, Haynes and Butler have all appeared in federal court in the case has Jenkins' wife, Laura Lloyd-Jenkins. All three men previously pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.

In an interview in November pastor Cordell Jenkins' lawyer Allison Folmar said, "These are very serious allegations. He's accepting it as such. No it's not easy to deal with, but he's a very strong individual."

"They are not all charged with the same charges, but they are all listed in one indictment," said Jenkins Lawyer Lorin Zaner.

The Toledo men are are accused of sex trafficking underage girls. The indictment includes a charge of conspiracy against the ministers.

"It says the three of them combined to involve these girls in sex trafficking. I believe they are never going to be able to demonstrate that" said Zaner.

Laura Lloyd-Jenkins is charged with obstructing of a sex trafficking investigation and making a false statement.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the following is according to Butler's plea agreement:

According to Butler’s plea agreement:

Butler did knowingly recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, maintain, patronize, or solicit, by any means, Juvenile #1 and #2, knowing that such juveniles had not attained the age of 18 years and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act. This took place between 2015 and March 2017.

Butler was a pastor of a church in Detroit from 2007 through 2012. Shortly after his church closed in 2013, Butler started attending church at the Greater Life Christian Center in Toledo. Anthony Haynes was the lead pastor of the church. Haynes and Butler quickly became friends and started spending time together at the church and elsewhere.

In 2014, Haynes told Butler Juvenile #1 moved into his home. Haynes informed Butler that Juvenile #1 was sexually abused when she was younger by her family members, and at least one of the family members was convicted of a crime for the conduct.

In late 2015, Haynes picked up Butler with Juvenile #1 already in the car. The three of them went to the Greater Life Christian Center to Haynes’s office. Juvenile #1 began to undress. Haynes looked at Butler and stated, “You owe me” and laughed.

Haynes and Butler performed oral sex on Juvenile #1 and then took turns having unprotected vaginal intercourse. While Butler was penetrating Juvenile #1, Juvenile #1 was performing oral sex on Haynes. Butler knew Juvenile #1 was under the age of 18 years. The next day, Haynes and Butler discussed the encounter and how it was fun.

In 2016, Haynes closed Greater Life Christian Center and opened a new church named University Bible Fellowship in Toledo. Shortly after this church opened, Haynes called Bulter and told him to meet Juvenile #1 and him at University Bible Fellowship. When Butler arrived, it was apparent they were going to have another threesome.

However, Haynes instructed Butler to give Juvenile #1 a ride to her job interview first. He drove Juvenile #1 to the interview and brought her back to the church. Once back at the church, Juvenile #1 performed oral sex on Haynes and Butler, and they took turns having unprotected vaginal intercourse with her.

After this encounter, Haynes told Butler that Cordell Jenkins also was having sex with Juvenile #1. Butler knew Jenkins as another pastor in the Toledo area. Butler went to Jenkins’s church on a few occasions when Haynes was a guest preacher. Likewise, Jenkins was a guest preacher at Haynes’s church.

Approximately one month later, Butler picked up Juvenile #1 from school and drove to a secluded area, where Butler had unprotected vaginal intercourse with her in the car.

Butler rented a motel room in Toledo a few weeks later. Juvenile #1 stated that Haynes was supposed to meet them, but he never showed up. Butler had unprotected vaginal intercourse with Juvenile #1.

Butler went to Juvenile #1’s residence in early 2017. On the way, he called and spoke with Haynes. Juvenile #1 asked for $30 for her hair, in which Butler replied, “You better be nice and naked.”

Butler had unprotected vaginal intercourse with Juvenile #1 at her residence. After the sex, he gave her $30.

In March 2017, Haynes informed Butler that there was a federal investigation into their conduct. Butler deleted text messages on his cellular telephone regarding his conversations with Juvenile #1.

Butler also had sex with another minor, Juvenile #2, who attend church at Greater Life Christian Center. The two met at the church in 2016. Shortly after meeting, Butler started his own church in the Detroit area.

Butler routinely took Juvenile #2 with him to his church in Michigan. Juvenile #2 watched Bulter’s children during the church service. In 2017, while driving back from his Detroit church, Butler pulled off the road and had vaginal intercourse with Juvenile #2. Butler knew Juvenile #2 had not attained the age of 18 years. Butler routinely provided Juvenile #2 rides to various places in the Toledo area, and on at least one occasion, gave her $20.

On October 4, 2017, Juvenile #2 called Butler. During the call, Butler told Juvenile #2 to lie to federal authorities when asked about their sex, according to court documents.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Freeman and Alissa Sterling following an investigation by the FBI’s Northwest Ohio Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of members of the FBI, Toledo Police Department, Perrysburg Township Police Department, Lima Police Department, Oregon Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.