A prominent Ohio pastor arrested for taking part in repeated sexual acts and the trafficking of a 14-year-old girl reportedly coerced the teen into "continued secrecy" by warning her that revealing the sexual activity between them would ruin his family and church.
The Toledo Blade reports that Cordell Jenkins, 46, who leads Abundant Life Ministries in Toledo, was taken into custody by the FBI on Friday, along with Anthony Haynes, 37, who oversees Greater Life Christian Center, also in Toledo.
"Jenkins and Haynes are accused of knowingly recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person(s) that the defendants knew was less than eighteen years old to engage in commercial sex acts," the FBI outlined in an official statement. "In addition to the above, Haynes is also being charged with obstruction of justice and Jenkins is being charged with sexual exploitation of children."
According to police documents, Hayes is accused of engaging in sexual relations with a then-fourteen year-old girl beginning in 2014 and of coercing the teen "into continued secrecy by implying revealing the sexual activity between them would ruin his family and church." Haynes is accused of paying the teen money to keep the encounters to herself.
Haynes reportedly introduced the teenager to others who paid the girl for sex, including Jenkins, who had sex with the girl at a Red Roof Inn in Toledo and in his office in a nearby church.
A local Red Roof Inn has additionally confirmed that Jenkins rented a room with the teenager twice, including one time when the girl says that he asked her to bring a friend. The FBI began an investigation after getting information a few weeks ago, according to CBS News.
A U.S. magistrate judge Friday ordered Jenkins and Haynes held without bond until an April 13 hearing. The Blade reports Jenkins shook his head "no" as charges were read and indicated he will hire an attorney. Haynes told the magistrate he needed a court-appointed attorney until he "made some phone calls."
According to his bio on the Abundant Life Ministries page, Jenkins pastored for over 15 years at several churches in the A.M.E. Zion Church in South Carolina, Oakland, California, and Toledo. Jenkins' bio also claims that, "never wanting to be idle in his work for the Kingdom and communiy, Pastor Jenkins has been involved with several organizations" including the NAACP, the Black Methodist Fellowship, Single Parent's Harvest, and more.
Jenkins, the son of two pastors, said his mission in ministry is to "make the strong weak, the mend the broken and to heal the wounded."
His bio concludes: "Pastor Jenkins is happily married to First Lady Laura C. Lloyd-Jenkins. He and his wife desire to be living examples of Christ's love in the church and community. His personal motto is 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' Phillipians 4:13."