North Mississippi Pastor Charged in Sex Crime

(Senatobia, MS) ”Pastor Singleton, did you have an inappropriate relationship with that young man?”  Seventy-one year-old Larry Singleton kept his head down and remained silent as he entered Tate County Justice Court Tuesday.

His arrest Monday night came after an 18-year-old man came to Deputies, saying he’d been forced into having sex with the man.

Investigators wouldn’t say how long it had gone one.

”That’s part of the investigation, is trying to determine exactly for how long it was going on, but it began when the man was 11-years-old, ” said Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance.

Singleton is Pastor of the Bay Springs Baptist Church in the Lafayette County town of Abbeville.

He was also a part-time volunteer at Gateway Christian School’s campus in Horn Lake and had no contact with students according to the school’s Director, Dr. Ken Polizzi.

”Right now, the only information we have is the one victim with allegations of this going on in our County. We don’t have any information about anything going on at the Church or the Gateway Christian School,” said Lance.

Pastor Singleton’s arrest comes as more cases of this type come to the attention of Tate County Deputies.

Tate County normally investigates 3 to 4 cases of this type in a year, but this year has brought four times that many.

The problem has become so bad, the Sheriff now has a full-time sex crimes investigator.

And that investigator is said to have been busy with this case, which will surely go before a Tate County Grand Jury as early as next month.

Sherrif Brad Lance suspects the case could get delayed if this case gets bigger “It’s not atypical in these types of cases that other people come forward, especially with a person in a position of trust like this man has”.

Anyone with information on the case should call the Tate County Sheriff’s Department.

For now, Pastor Larry Singleton, remains in the Tate County Jail on a million dollars bond.

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