Local pastors accused of sex crimes appear in court, no decision on release

Published: Apr. 13, 2017 at 6:25 PM EDT
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Two Toledo pastors accused of sex crimes against children went before a federal court judge Thursday morning.

Cordell Jenkins and Anthony Haynes are facing multiple charges of child sex trafficking and child pornography.

Jenkins, is the pastor and found of Abundant Life Ministries in Toledo.

According to court documents, Jenkins and Haynes used underage girls for sex.

Both men were together inside the courtroom during Thursday's pretrial hearing. The judge later excused Hayes, at which time they discussed a request from Jenkins to be released from jail on bond.

An initial hearing on the issue was schedule two weeks ago, but canceled for unknown reasons.

Jenkins attorney states that he is using his home and parents home as equity, totaling $94,000 as bond. His attorney adds if he was released from jail, he would be staying at his home on Barrington with his parents, Chorrethers and Stephanie Jenkins. The couple currently lives in Youngstown and plans to relocate to Toledo and stay with their son around the clock. Jenkins' wife, Laura, would not be at the home.

Chorrethers and Stephanie Jenkins took the stand as witnesses during the bond hearing. Jenkins' father serves as a bishop at Grace Evangelistic Temple in Youngstown. He stated that he didn't know of the alleged incident prior to his sons arrest.

During cross examination, prosecutors questioned him regarding a text message from his daughter-in-law. It read: "Please come to house. Cordell told me he wants to end his life ---I believe him--this is serious. I need your help -your grandfather knows what's going on."

Chorrethers said he did not recall receiving that text message. He added his daughter-in later told him in a text message that "this is big" and Chorrethers said he told her to "get a lawyer".

Attorneys for the federal government argue that Jenkins is a flight risk. They used evidence of internet searches on a cell phone from Jenkins' wife for two plane tickets to South America. Those searches made just before his arrest. Other searches found on the cell phone include "husband slept with 17-year- old" and "what is sex-trafficking".

Laura Jenkins is a Lucas County Administrator and serves on Lucas County Board of Children Services.

A FBI special agent who took the witness stand stated that one of the victims' guardians contacted Jenkins wife after finding sexual pictures on the juveniles cell phone. He adds they then met at a Vito's Pizza where his wife confronted him regarding the alleged incident.

Prosecutors showed text messages exchanged between Jenkins and the alleged two victims. Those messages revealed that Jenkins would pay $150 dollars for sex acts at his home, church offices, and local hotels.

Prosecutors claim he is a danger to high school girls and used his role as a pastor to influence them for sex.

The judge made no decision on whether Jenkins will be released from custody Thursday. However, during his bond hearing, there was discussion about a final decision being made either later in the afternoon or in the next few days.

The judge continued the pretrial case to September 7th.