A local spiritual leader shocked and devastated his congregants Wednesday when he was arrested for allegedly engaging in a two-year sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.
The predatory relationship between Gordon Solomon, pastor at Christ's Community Church of LA in Inglewood, Calif., and his young congregant began when the girl was only 12 years old, authorities say.
The 50-year-old pastor allegedly "developed an ongoing affinity" for the girl, which involved exchanging emails and texts of a "sexual nature" and meeting at various locations, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
The young girl's mother discovered one of the explicit text messages from Solomon and immediately called the police. Investigators then determined that the predatory relationship had been going on for two years by tracing back the sexting messages on the girl's phone.
The minister was charged Friday with seven felony counts of committing a lewd act on a child, one felony count of oral copulation of a person under the age of 14 and one felony count of continuous sexual abuse, the District Attorney announced.
If convicted as charged, Solomon -- who is in jail on $3 million bail -- faces a maximum sentence of 26 years and eight month in state prison, the D.A. says. He is expected to make his initial court appearance Friday at the Inglewood Courthouse.
Solomon is married and can be seen happily posing with his wife, Ruth, in the picture above from the church's website. On the site, the church states that its goals include "to help people to grow and learn through mutual support and care" and "to increase awareness of Almighty God and spread the word that Jesus saves."
Sheriff's investigators say they have reason to believe that there may be additional victims.
They are asking anyone with information to contact the Special Victims Bureau at 1-877-710-LASD (5273) or firstname.lastname@example.org . Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website lacrimestoppers.org