Sunday, October 05, 2008

Church of God Responds To Arrest

LABELLE, FL. -- Edwin Nathan Smith, 26 has been arrested on charges of lewd and lascivious battery and sexual activity with two minor girls. The former youth leader at the LaBelle Church of God was arrested for alleged sexual misconduct with two teenage female church members aged 14 and 15.

Smith, the son-in-law of the church pastor is alleged to have had sexual activity with the 15-year old in his car, and with the 14-year old girl in the church office. Smith is being held on $175,000 bond.

The church responded:

"The La Belle Church of God is deeply saddened by recent allegations of sexual misconduct committed by its interim youth leader. The Hendry County Sheriff's Office is currently conducting an investigation, which has been both thorough and professional in scope. The Church, is of course, acting responsibly and fully cooperating with the Sheriff's Office in its investigation. We are still learning the details of the allegations. Like all in the La Belle community, we are anxiously awaiting the findings of the investigation.

In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with all of the individuals and their families affected by these allegations."

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