A popular local pastor is facing open and gross lewdness charges following his arrest on Saturday evening.
Investigators from the Nye County Sheriff’s Office allege Pastor George Ferguson of Freedom of Praise Ministries made contact and offered a ride in his minivan to a 17-year-old male member of the pastor’s congregation on July 18.
The boy, who wanted to go to his girlfriend’s home, told detectives that he and the pastor first stopped at the pastor’s home, where after arriving, the boy said the pastor kissed him on the forehead, cheek and neck at which time the victim claimed the pastor pulled the victim’s belt line and peered down the victim’s pants, uttering the words “I want to have sex with you.”
According to the arrest report, NCSO detectives made contact with Ferguson later that day to investigate the victim’s claim.
After speaking to the pastor, detectives say he agreed to a Controlled Voice Stress Analyzer Exam (CVSAE). The report stated that Ferguson initially lied to investigators about kissing the victim on the neck and pulling the victim’s pants away from his body, but later admitted it, adding that it was not meant in a “sexual way.”
Detectives eventually arrested Ferguson while he was at choir rehearsal and transported him to the Nye County Detention Center without incident.
On Tuesday, the victim’s mother had harsh words for Ferguson.
“My reaction was anger and every thought in my head was illegal. The last thing I wanted to do was call the police. My other sons wanted to administer justice in their own way because my son is mentally disabled. I calmed everybody down and encouraged my son to call the police. I just told them to let the police do their job,” she said.
The mother said she and her family have been members of Ferguson’s congregation for less than a year.
Ferguson was still being held Tuesday in lieu of $50,000 bail.