A federal judge on Wednesday postponed until Oct. 29 the trial of two Toledo-area pastors charged in a child sex-trafficking conspiracy after one of them hired new attorneys.
U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary said that because of the change in counsel for Anthony Haynes, he thought it appropriate to give lawyers Peter Wagner and John Thebes time to prepare for trial or explore whether a negotiated resolution was possible.
Judge Zouhary converted the previously set trial date of Sept. 5 as a deadline for Mr. Haynes, 39, to enter into a plea agreement.
Mr. Wagner said afterward that Mr. Haynes’ family hired him to take the place of the federal public defender's office, which had been appointed to his case.
“The family knows all the parties involved well, and they feel strongly that the reverend is not guilty of the charges that have been placed against him,” Mr. Wagner said, declining to comment further.
The cases of co-defendants, Cordell Jenkins, 48, and his wife, former Lucas County Administrator Laura Lloyd-Jenkins, 43, are set to proceed to trial Oct. 29 with Mr. Haynes.
Mr. Jenkins, founder and pastor of Abundant Life Ministries, and Mr. Haynes, who led the Greater Life Christian Center, each are charged with child sex trafficking, production of child pornography, and other offenses.
Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins, who was fired last year by county commissioners, is charged with obstructing a sex-trafficking investigation and making a false statement to federal investigators.
A third pastor, Kenneth Butler, 38, former pastor of Detroit-based Kingdom Encounter Family Worship Center, pleaded guilty May 14 to conspiracy to sex traffic children, obstruction of a sex-trafficking investigation, and two counts of sex trafficking of children.
Butler admitted he had sex with two minor girls, including encounters at Mr. Haynes' church office. He faces an agreed-upon term of 17½ years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 12 by Judge Zouhary.
Both Mr. Haynes and Mr. Jenkins remain in custody, while Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins is on house arrest.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: email@example.com or 419-213-2134.
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