Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hazel Green Alabama minister arrested in sex abuse charge privateofficer.com




Madison County AL Dec 18 2016 An Alabama children's minister has been arrested on an accusation he inappropriately touched a child.
James Vernon McNeal, 39, is charged with sexual abuse of a child younger than 12, a Class B felony. If convicted, McNeal faces two to 20 years in prison. He was released from the Madison County Jail after posting $30,000 bail on Thursday.
McNeal, a children's minister at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Hazel Green, is accused of abusing a child from the church, said Madison County sheriff's Lt. Brian Chaffin.
"We're still investigating," Chaffin said. "But, we don't expect there are any other victims."
However, he said, anyone who wishes to speak with an investigator should contact the Sheriff's Office.
Investigators began probing the case this week when authorities were notified a crime may have been committed.
"McNeal has been terminated and isn't allowed on the property," lead Pastor Lon Ostrzycki told AL.com's news partner WHNT-19.
Anyone with information, questions or concerns should contact the Sheriff's Office at 256-722-7181.

Further details were not immediately available.

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