A prominent Toledo pastor and a second man took part in repeated sexual acts and the trafficking of a teenage girl, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Friday in federal court.
The Rev. Cordell Jenkins, 46, and Anthony Haynes, 38, were both arrested without incident Friday at their Toledo residences, according to FBI officials.
Authorities filed a criminal complaint detailing their alleged intercourse with a teenage girl at various locations, including an area church.
Authorities are at Abundant Life Ministries on Glendale Avenue where the Rev. Cordell Jenkins and Anthony Haynes are accused of having had sex with a teen girl. The FBI said the charges on the men do not involve the church in any way.
Mr. Jenkins is the founder and pastor of Abundant Life Ministries, 5025 Glendale Ave., according to the church’s website.
The site also identified Lucas County Administrator Laura Lloyd-Jenkins as Mr. Jenkins’ wife. A county official confirmed Mr. Jenkins is married to Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins.
In the complaint, a teenage girl told federal investigators how Mr. Haynes sexually exploited her for three years, starting when she was 14. Mr. Haynes, she said, engaged in sexual acts in front of her with an adult woman, and later with the teen as well, the document read.
“Additionally, he coerced [the girl] into continued secrecy by implying revealing the sexual activity between them would ruin his family and church,” the federal agent wrote.
Mr. Haynes sexually exploited her with several other adult men, including one identified as Mr. Jenkins, according to the complaint.
Mr. Jenkins and the girl engaged in sexual acts at his residence, a motel, and an area church, authorities said.
“Jenkins continued to sexually exploit [the girl] for the next couple of months. At times, Jenkins had sex with [her] at his office at an area church,” according to a charging affidavit sworn by the FBI.
According to that document, Mr. Jenkins took the girl, identified by the FBI as Juvenile No. 1, to a Red Roof Inn in Toledo on “at least two occasions,” including once after Mr. Jenkins had pressured the girl to find an acquaintance for a shared sexual act and she complied.
The Red Roof Inn “confirmed that on two occasions Jenkins reserved a room at the motel” and surveillance video confirmed his presence. On the first occasion, the video “clearly shows Jenkins and Juvenile No. 1 enter a motel room and leave about an hour later,” the affidavit states, and the second video “confirmed that Jenkins was there with at least one of the juveniles.”
Agents said he paid Juvenile No. 1 on all occasions, ranging between $100 and $300, except for the time with the second girl, who was paid “approximately $120 to $140” for her participation.
Both Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Haynes were shackled but wearing civilian clothing when federal marshals brought them to U.S. District Court for an initial appearance late Friday afternoon. Magistrate Judge James Knepp ordered they be held without bond until a detention hearing Thursday.
Michael Freeman, an assistant U.S. attorney, asked both men be detained because of the charges’ nature.
Through his court-appointed attorney, Merle Dech, Mr. Jenkins asked if he could have a hearing sooner than Thursday. Judge Knepp apologized, but said that wouldn’t be possible.
“Is there anything else I can do?” Mr. Jenkins asked before the hearing ended, to which Judge Knepp said there was not.
Neighbors described Cordell Jenkins and Laura Lloyd-Jenkins as quiet people who kept to themselves at their 2423 Barrington Dr. home. The Rev. Jenkins, 46, pastor of Abundant Life Ministries, was charged with sexual exploitation of children.
“The Bail Reform Act is pretty specific,” he said, explaining that offenses of a sexual nature against children are among the crimes that carry a presumption that the defendant be held in jail.
Earlier in the hearing, Mr. Jenkins covered his face with his hands and shook his head no as Mr. Freeman read the charges and possible penalties he faced if convicted.
Mr. Freeman said Mr. Jenkins is charged with sex trafficking of a minor, which carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum life sentence, as well as sexual exploitation of children, which carries between 15 and 30 years in prison.
Mr. Haynes is charged with sex trafficking of a minor and obstruction in the investigation of child sex trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, Mr. Freeman said.
Mr. Jenkins told the court he intended to hire his own attorney. Mr. Haynes said he wanted a court-appointed attorney at least until he “made some phone calls.”
“These are some of the most serious charges we deal with,” Mr. Freeman said after the hearing. “We do everything in our power to protect the community, particularly minors.”
FBI spokesman Vicki Anderson said charges against the two do not involve the church in any way.
Ms. Anderson said the FBI received information a few weeks ago regarding allegations of the sexual misconduct involving minors and began an investigation. An Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations truck was parked Friday afternoon outside Abundant Life Ministries.
Mr. Haynes’ last known employment is listed as the Greater Life Christian Center in Toledo. A telephone number for that establishment on North Detroit Avenue was out of service Friday.
A representative of University Bible Fellowship on Dorr Street said Friday his organization had rented space to Mr. Haynes’ congregation for a period of months ending last June, but the arrangement was terminated when the rent fell into arrears.
Old Orchard residents said FBI agents searched a home Friday in the 2400 block of Barrington Drive. County records list Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins as the owner, and neighbors said Mr. Jenkins also lived there. A resident inside motioned for a Blade reporter to leave the property. Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins could not be reached for comment.
Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins is listed as the secretary on the board of trustees for Lucas County Children Services, according to the child-protection agency’s website. As county administrator, she oversees day-to-day operations and supervises county officials.
Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins has been on approved leave from her county administrator position since Wednesday to attend to a health-related family matter in California, said Pete Gerken, president of the Lucas County Commissioners.
Mr. Gerken said county representatives are “outraged and cooperative,” and will work with the FBI if asked.
The county has a clear stance against sex trafficking based on previous policies and statements, he said.
“If this is true, it is indefensible for Pastor Jenkins,” he said. “Our county employee remains a county employee. ... [She], to our knowledge, is not charged and complicit.”
Mr. Gerken said county officials will continue monitoring the situation. It’s too soon to comment on whether she would be removed from her Children Services board position, he said.
Neighbors described the couple as quiet people who kept to themselves in the home.
Ian Johnson, a University of Toledo student who frequently stays nearby, called allegations of human trafficking eye-opening. He had not interacted with the Jenkins family.
“You don’t want something like that around here, and unfortunately Toledo’s known as a hub for this kind of stuff. It’s disappointing more than anything,” said Mr. Johnson, 20.
Star Academy of Toledo, a kindergarten through eighth-grade public charter school, shares a space with the church. The school was not placed on lockdown, but bus pick-up was moved to a different entrance away from where police vehicles were staged.
“As a parent, I would be concerned, but all of my babies here in school are safe,” said principal Vincent Riccardi. “None of the staff in the church have anything to do with our kids. We don’t do programs with them. We have no affiliation with Abundant Life Church, other than we happen to share the building, but they’re not in our area.”
Staff writers Jennifer Feehan and Lauren Lindstrom contributed to this report.
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