• North Carolina preacher accused of sexually abusing 14-year-old girl after getting her drunk

    By: Erin Edwards, WSOCTV.com


    Gaston County, North Carolina, preacher was arrested Saturday after being accused of sex crimes with a 14-year-old girl over the span of a year. 

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    Nicholas Martin, 24, was charged with four counts of indecent liberties with a child, one count of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and one count of indecent exposure. 

    Officials said Martin committed several crimes involving the teen from October 2018 until September 2019. 

    Arrest warrants show he got the 14-year-old drunk before abusing the victim on several occasions. 

    "It's such an impressionable age," neighbor Corrin Miller said. "There's nothing that can be said about that. It's a real shame for the whole community to have that so close to us."

    Martin was a music and youth pastor at North Belmont Church of God and lived next to the church.

    Neighbors who live around the church told WSOC-TV that they are on edge, shocked and terrified. 

    "I cannot trust anybody," resident Monette Almond said. "And this is supposed to be somebody you can trust, you know. It's just mind-boggling. Now, seeing that it's just right around the corner, that gives me so much anxiety now. I don't even want her going out of the house anymore."

    Neighbors said they are taking this case as a reminder to be vigilant and report any abuse you see going on in your community. 

    "You have a part to play in this," Miller said. "If you know of anybody, a family member, a loved one, you need to report it."

    It is unclear if the victim was a member of the church or what their exact relationship was.

    Authorities said Martin is being held under a $1 million bond. 

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