A pastor of a church in Jacksonville, in northeast Florida, was arrested and charged Thursday with alleged sexual abuse of minors that took place over about 30 years. Charges were filed after a police raid Wednesday at his church, the sheriff’s office in the aforementioned city reported.
Paul Dyal, 78, pastor of the Assembly of the Body of Christ Church, was arrested Wednesday night following an investigation that began in September 2020 and revealed sexual and physical abuse of minors at the church for more than 30 years, the Jacksonville sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Also taking place at the time of the pastor’s arrest were the Oklahoma arrests of Jerome Teschendorf, 68, and Vernon Williamson, 85, both charged with capital sexual assault and linked to the case.
The sheriff’s office said that during the investigation, law enforcement officials identified and spoke with numerous victims (both male and female) and witnesses, and there are likely more than a dozen victims of sexual abuse committed by Dylan, who remains in custody without bail.
If convicted, the pastor could be sentenced to life in prison.
One of the victims of sexual abuse, a woman who preferred to remain anonymous, told News4JAX that the abuse went on for about five years when she was five years old.