Pastor responds to HIV

August 12th, 2009 by

LAKELAND - Police say they have one of the worst cases of child molestation they’ve ever seen. A church volunteer is accused of having sex with a 13-year-old boy he was mentoring and police say the suspect is HIV positive.

58-year-old Jere Michael Temple lives in a mobile home park in Lakeland. Police say what went on in his house was unspeakable.

“It literally turned my stomach,” said Sergeant Gary Gross.

He says the suspect and the child met at the Rainbow Promise Church where Temple was a youth volunteer. The boy’s mother grew to trust him and allowed Temple to mentor her son, which included overnight visits.

“So basically, for the last six months, the kid has went over every week and been victimized. He’s been in a living hell,” said Sgt. Gross.

That finally ended, the Sergeant says, when the boy told his mom what was going on. He says the teen had no idea there was more at stake.

“He was totally clueless. Some of the stories we’re hearing, the child was groomed into this. He had no idea this man was infected (with HIV),” said Gross.

Temple’s neighbors in the Ariana Village Mobile Home Park are stunned by the charges.

“Everyone’s just completely astounded by it,” said Bobby Barnes, a resident at the park.

The pastor of Rainbow Promise Church says they didnt know either.

“I think I can speak for the whole congregation when I say were shocked – devastated,” said Pastor Karen Ducham.

She says they have a strict policy of not allowing any adult to be alone with children and had no reason to suspect anything.

“There are those who would attract your attention. Michael was not one of those. I pray this is not a history thing, but a one time thing,” said Ducham.

Police share that hope, but can’t rule out other victims who might come forward after hearing this.

Temple is charged with battery and engaging in sexual intercourse without disclosing infection of HIV. As of Tuesday night he was still in jail on a very high bond — $1.25 million. Prosecutors say they fear he’s a flight risk and the charges are just that serious.

One Response

  1. G O D

    I am so sick of these “religious” a**holes. At least the athiests keep it in there pants for more than 5 minutes. I mean it’s either little boys or it’s Billy Bob and Sally Bob spawning 14 goobers because they’re doing me a “favor”. When I said,’be fruitful and multiply’ that was 6.5 billion humans ago, dumbass. The reason you don’t find athiests in foxholes is because it’s these self proclaimed “experts” on me(God)that are busy doing all of killing. So, if you want to worship me then simply take care of yourselves…and each other. Amen

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