More details emerged in last week’s arrest of a local pastor who was charged with allegedly making sexual advances on a 17-year-old disabled juvenile member of his church.
The mother of the boy believes the charges the man is facing don’t go far enough.
George Ferguson, pastor of Freedom of Praise Ministries on Highway 160, was arrested July 25, on charges of open and gross lewdness.
Both the victim’s mother and more than one confidential source told the Pahrump Valley Times that the pastor is HIV positive, adding an additional layer of horror for the victim and his family.
“Seeing that he has full-blown AIDS, I believe he should also be charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault,” said the victim’s mother.
The PVT is withholding the alleged victim and his mother’s name in order to protect the juvenile’s identity.
The family had been members of the church for less than a year.
The victim’s mother said that her son first told a therapist about the alleged incident. The therapist then advised the victim to tell his mother and call the police.
“My son asked me if we could change churches. He told me that he didn’t mean to cuss, and then he said his pastor tried to f*** him, and he didn’t want to get in trouble. He then said to me that he didn’t want his brothers, sisters or me to go around the man ever again,” she said.
She also said when her son rebuffed Ferguson’s initial advances, the pastor then allegedly offered the juvenile money in exchange for sex.
She said it took a while to convince her family not to take the law into their own hands once they learned what allegedly occurred.
“I calmed them down because his brothers wanted to go physically assault this man. The sheriff’s department only charged him with lewdness. I was going to let my sons have a feeding frenzy on him. I feel that he should be facing more serious charges. Seeing that my son is legally mentally disabled, I thought that assaulting a disabled person was against the law,” she said.
NCSO detectives first made contact with Ferguson on July 18, where he eventually corroborated the victim’s claim after telling police his actions were not meant in a “sexual way.”
Investigators allege Ferguson made contact and offered a ride to the victim. The boy, who wanted to visit his girlfriend, told police he was driven to the pastor’s home, where after arriving, the boy alleged the pastor kissed him on the forehead, cheek and neck while pulling at the boy’s belt line and peering down his pants, all the while uttering the words “I want to have sex with you.”
Ferguson initially lied to investigators about the alleged advances but later admitted to them, according to an arrest report on the matter.
There are laws on the books designed to help protect those from HIV exposure.
In Nevada, an individual can be charged with a category B felony for intentionally, knowingly, or willfully engaging in conduct that is intended to or likely to transmit HIV to another person, according to Nevada Revised Statute 201.205.
Ferguson was arrested July 25 during choir rehearsal at the church and was transported to the Nye County Detention Center without incident.
As of Thursday, he remains behind bars at the Nye County Detention Center on a $50,000 bail.
A call to the church for comment on the arrest went directly to voice mail.