Former youth pastor at Leland church charged with sexual assault

Former youth pastor at Leland church charged with sexual assault
Merle Darnell Davis (Source: Maryland Sex Offender Registry)

LELAND, NC (WECT) - A former youth pastor at a Leland church is accused of sexually assaulting a child nearly a decade ago.

According to a news release from the Leland Police Department, Merle Darnell Davis, 65, was charged with one count of statutory sex offense with a 13, 14, or 15 year old, and three counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Leland police officials say they received a report in March 2017 about the alleged offenses which reportedly occurred between June 2009 and August 2009 at The Parks at Village Oaks Apartments located on Village Road. Davis was a youth pastor at Johnson Chapel AME Zion Church at the time, according to Leland police.

Davis was taken into custody on Friday by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland and is awaiting extradition back to North Carolina.

According to online records with the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, Davis was convicted in Dorchester County in 2012 on two counts of sexual solicitation of a minor.

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