Ex-Pastor Faces Life Sentence After Federal Jury Convicts Him in Teen Sex Case
LAKELAND | A former pastor faces mandatory life in prison after a federal jury found him guilty Friday of sexually assaulting a teenage boy and trying to groom two others for abuse.
Arnold Mathis, 41, was arrested in December 2011 after spending a late night at a casino and returning home to find Polk County deputies waiting.
Detectives began investigating Mathis a day before when the victim, now in his 20s, accused the former Higher Praise Ministries assistant pastor of sexually abusing him.
When the abuse began, Mathis served as senior pastor of Saint City Power and Praise Ministries in Winter Haven, Polk County deputies said at the time of his arrest.
Mathis used a cell phone between November 2004 and January 2005 to lure the victim, then 14, into having sex, according to the Justice Department. T...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.