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Youth minister and girls basketball coach raped children between 12 and 16 years old: prosecutors

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Source: District Attorney Matthew F. Stowe, Unsplash

Jun. 24 2021, Published 9:41 a.m. ET

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A youth minister and girl’s basketball coach is accused of raping multiple children in three different states.

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Joshua Burton Henley, 32, was charged with one count of aggravated sexual battery and three counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, according to prosecutors in Tennessee.

Authorities say the case involves multiple victims between 12 to 16 years old. The jurisdiction involves three states, according to District Attorney Matthew Stowe, who announced the arrest on June 22.

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Henley is currently employed as a youth minister at Washington Avenue Church of Christ in Evansville, Indiana.

Formerly, Henley was a pastor at Holladay Community Church and an unpaid volunteer girls basketball coach at Holladay Primary School in Holladay, Tennessee.

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Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Benton County Sheriff’s Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office worked closely together on the case, according to prosecutors.

“This arrest is the result of an extensive ongoing investigation through the coordination of several agencies,” Stowe said.  “I am very pleased with the team effort of all parties.  This case typifies the issues that law enforcement face in dealing with sexual crimes involving minors, which have increased in the wake of the imposed COVID isolation.”

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“My team has always taken great care in prosecuting child sexual abuse cases, and we are proud of our District-wide 100% conviction rate in child-related rapes during my tenure as District Attorney,” Stowe said.  “Past experience with these types of cases helps guide any investigation toward a successful prosecution.  Everyone is working hard.”

Henley was booked into Benton County Jail on June 18. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Law enforcement believes there may be additional victims who have not yet been identified.  Anyone who may have any additional information concerning this case is urged to contact investigators at the Benton County Sheriff’s Department at (731) 584-4632.


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