Home Pastors Pastor to plead sexual battery charges linked to North Jacksonville church

Pastor to plead sexual battery charges linked to North Jacksonville church

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida — A Jacksonville pastor charged with more than 30 years of sexual abuse will face a judge Tuesday morning.

Paul Dyal, 78, pastor of the Jacksonville Body of Christ Assembly on Old Kings Road North, was arrested in March after a coordinated police raid on the church.

Dyal faces two counts of child sexual abuse. When he appeared before a judge last month, he was ordered to be held without bail. The judge then said that Dyal could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

RELATED: Jacksonville church pastor arrested in raid 1 of 3 charged with capital sexual assault | Warning signs of child sexual abuse | JSO: Sexual and physical abuse of minors at North Jacksonville church began 30 years ago | Alleged victims of Jacksonville church sexual assaults meet media | ‘It’s become our normal’: 8 women say they suffered mental and physical abuse from Jacksonville church leaders | Woman says she was repeatedly abused by pastor, arrest warrant says | Lawyers hope to hear from more witnesses in church sex abuse case | Woman spoke to pastor, JSO, about alleged sexual abuse by church member over 10 years ago: warrant | ‘It should never happen’: Women who say they survived Jacksonville church abuse return to campus

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Police say the investigation into Dyal dates back more than 20 years and includes evidence of crimes they say took place in the early 1990s.

JSO received a report of possible sexual abuse at the church in September 2020.

As investigators made Dyal’s arrest, additional warrants were pending in Oklahoma. Jerome Teschendorf, 68, arrested in Newalla, Oklahoma, and Vernon Williamson, 85, arrested in Ardmore, Oklahoma, were both extradited to Jacksonville.

Teschendorf and Williamson are also affiliated with the Church of Dyal and also face two counts each of child molestation.

“The investigation uncovered both long-term sexual and physical abuse of minors in the church over a period of more than thirty years,” the sheriff’s office said in its press release in March.

The sheriff’s office thinks there could be more than a dozen victims.

JSO said that during the investigation, police “identified and spoke to numerous victims and witnesses.” As a result, the sheriff’s office said, police believe there are other suspects. He asked anyone who thinks they have information to share to come forward by calling JSO or submit an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers of northeast Florida.

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Eight women have since shared their stories with News4JAX, saying they are survivors of mental, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of people at Body of Christ Church’s Jacksonville Assembly.

News4JAX will have a team in the courtroom for the arraignment and bring you updates on what’s going on.

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