Tuesday, June 9

LaPorte Pastor Curtis Southwood charged with sex crime

LAPORTE | A 77-year-old pastor from LaPorte could face prison time on allegations he sexually touched a female member of his church.
Curtis Southwood is charged in LaPorte Circuit Court with sexual battery, a level 6 felony, for allegedly fondling a 35-year-old woman with disabilities at the church.
He was arraigned May 13 and his next court hearing is set for July 8.
Southwood is pastor at Calvary Baptist Church at 1808 I St.
One of the deacons at the church, Roger Cooper, said no action has been taken to discipline Southwood, who's been at the helm of the congregation for 11 years.
He said a wait-and-see approach is being taken on his status.
"They're only allegations. Allegations are allegations," said Cooper.
"The church does not persecute people just because they're charged with something," said Cooper.
According to court documents, the woman alleged she was at a Thanksgiving dinner at the church and while talking to her mother on a cellphone, Southwood approached and stuck his hand down her shirt touching her breast.

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