Former assistant pastor indicted in abuse

He is accused of molesting 2 girls

James Griffin

Thursday, October 27, 2007

St. Tammany bureau, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA

A St. Tammany Parish grand jury Wednesday indicted a former volunteer assistant church pastor on two counts of aggravated sex crimes involving juveniles and 100 counts of possessing child pornography.

James Griffin, 67, of Pearl River, was arrested by the Sheriff's Office on July 4, after a three-week investigation sparked by a tip from a family member of an alleged victim, authorities said.

At the time, Griffin was a volunteer associate pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church of Slidell, 62160 Airport Road. Investigators did not reveal the nature and details of the sex crimes, but said the alleged victims are not children Griffin met at the church.

According to the indictments, the crimes occurred last year and this year and involve two girls, 13 and 15.

During the investigation, detectives searched computers Griffin used at the church and his personal computer and found numerous sexually explicit pictures of children, authorities said.

In another case, the grand jury indicted an Abita Springs man on charges of sexual battery and aggravated sex crimes.

Wade Michael Clement, 45, is accused of assaulting two girls, now 8 and 13, in 2001, 2005 and this year, authorities said.

SNAP Note:  Immanuel Baptist Church of Slidell is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.

See also: "Church worker booked in sex crimes," Times-Picayune, July 6, 2007