East Palestine pastor facing sex charge involving minor - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

East Palestine pastor facing sex charge involving minor

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EAST PALESTINE, Ohio -

Police are accusing a 49-year-old minister from a Columbiana County religious outreach organization of having sexual contact with an underage girl for close to three years.

Rodney McManus, the pastor at the New Life Outreach Church in East Palestine, was arraigned in county municipal court Thursday on one count of unlawful attempted sexual contact with a minor.  

According to the criminal complaint filed by East Palestine police, McManus became involved with a teenager who was older than 13-years-old but under the age of 16 in 2013.

The complaint says that in early 2014, McManus touched the girl's genital area and placed her hand on his genitals.

Investigators say the activity took place until this past August.

McManus owned the Coffee Stop on North Market Street and it was operated by the New Life Outreach Center.

A sign on the door states that the center and coffee shop were closed as of Sept 11.

The sign read, "Our mission and purpose to bring the people of East Palestine to a closer relationship with God and each other remains our prayer."

The message advises people to connect to a "supportive House of God".

The outreach center's Facebook page, which was still available Friday morning, was taken down that afternoon.

McManus was booked into the county jail.

His next hearing is scheduled for October 19th.

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