The pastor of a small Washington County Baptist Church was arrested and charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy in connection with a nearly 10-year-old incident involving a 15-year-old girl, authorities said.
The Rev. Leonard Frazier, 55, of Stonewall Baptist Church near Chatom, was booked into Mobile County Metro Jail on Tuesday on the basis of a grand jury indictment. He was released on bail totaling $15,000, according to jail records.
A phone call made to Frazier's home in Mount Vernon on Tuesday evening resulted in no comment. No one answered the telephone at the church today.
The alleged victim is now in her mid-20s, said Steve Giardini, the Mobile County assistant district attorney who prosecutes child-abuse cases.
"It took a number of years for her to come forward," he said.
There is no statute of limitations in Alabama involving sex crimes against children.
State law holds that second-degree rape happens when someone 16 years old or older engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 16 years old and more than 12 years old, provided that the offender is two years older than the victim.
Giardini said he was unsure if the woman has ever been a member of Stonewall Baptist Church. She is not a blood relative to Frazier but did know him through her family, the prosecutor said.
i understand that he did this because he was tired of "the catholics" getting all the good press with them raping altar boys and such". i guess he better retire his wwjd wrist band.