Police in Maryland have charged three church leaders with sexually abusing four teenage girls over a decade ago who were enrolled in a faith-based program meant to help at-risk youth.
Prince George’s County detectives have identified the suspects on Wednesday as Oxon Hill Assembly of Jesus Christ head pastor Joshua Wright, his son and church minister William Wright, and the elder Wright’s son-in-law and church member Donald Jackson. All three men have been charged with child abuse and various other sex offenses.
The men allegedly abused the teens between 2001 and 2008, when the victims were between 15 and 18 years old. The women took their stories of abuse to police as adults.
The victims were placed under the suspects’ care as part of a church-run program called Children Having Overcoming Power (CHOP) that dissolved in 2011. It was designed to provide troubled teens with safe living accommodations in church members’ houses.
The police report alleges that the suspects abused the victims in different locations, including the suspects’ homes, various parks and the church itself.
Oxon Hill Assembly of Jesus Christ and Joshua Wright’s lawyer did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment. William Wright’s lawyer, Tom Mooney, declined to comment. The District Court of Maryland’s website has not yet listed a lawyer for Jackson.
Jackson is a United States Capitol Police officer. The USCP told HuffPost that the department has placed him on “non-duty status.”
Prince George’s County detectives are encouraging others who may have experienced abuse in the CHOP program to come forward.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.