MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Two pastors charged with four counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect appeared in Shelby County Criminal Court for arraignment Tuesday morning.

Tori Dixon and her husband Calvin Dixon made their first court appearance after being indicted for the alleged abuse that occurred, according to the indictment, between November 1, 2017, and January 1, 2019.

The Dixons are both lead pastors at The Place of Reconciliation church in Batesville, Mississippi.

Michelle Strong, who is related to the victim, also faces the same four charges but was not in court.

The indictment does not give the victim’s name but states the three accused. It also states the abuse resulted in serious bodily injury to the victim. 

Calvin Dixon will be represented by Memphis attorney Shae Atkinson, who says Dixon has serious questions about the timing of the indictment.

Dixon questioned why events that allegedly happened several years ago are just now coming to light, his attorney said.

“So there’s a lot of questions as far as truthfulness, as far as what the State has, whether it’s legitimate, and so that’s the first thing we’re going to start looking into,” Atkinson said.

He said he believes the victim was seven or eight years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

The indictment does not state if the alleged abuse happened in the Cordova house listed as the Dixons address in 2017. The house now appears to be vacant.

“And that was one of the questions…’Was Mr. Dixon even around this child when these things occurred,'” Atkinson said.

Family and supporters of Pastor Tori Dixon declined to comment Tuesday.

Neither Tori Dixon nor Michelle Strong has attorneys, so arraignment was postponed until Aug. 2.

All three accused will remain in custody with a $150,000 bond each.