Bend Pastor Arraigned in Sex Abuse Case

Associated Press, carried in KGW [Portland OR]
January 5, 2006

BEND, Ore. -- A pastor accused of sexually abusing a girl has been ordered to stay away from his church and children other than his own.

Jeremy Hall, 34, of Sisters was arraigned Wednesday on charges of unlawful sexual penetration and sex abuse involving a child under 14, according to a document filed by the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office.

Hall was pastor at Christ's Church of New Beginnings, which meets in Sisters Elementary School, when the girl came forward, a church board member told The Bulletin newspaper. Hall has temporarily stepped down, the paper reported.

Deschutes County Judge Barbara Haslinger told Hall at Wednesday's arraignment that he could no longer go to the church.

"I don't want him to attend this church because of the concerns that the victim is attending," Haslinger said. "As a general matter I would like people to be able to go to church but I am trying to impose some proper parameters in this case."

Haslinger also barred Hall from drinking alcohol or going to places where children may congregate.

Two other girls have come forward with allegations against Hall, but those investigations haven't been completed, said Jody Stutesman-Vaughn, the Deschutes County deputy district attorney.

Hall, who said nothing at his arraignment, was arrested on the sex abuse charges Dec. 23 and posted $30,000 bail the same day to secure his release. Two days after his arrest, Hall returned to the church to deliver the Christmas sermon.

The pastor also faces misdemeanor charges that he stalked a former church member.

Former parishioner Kelli Jensen said Hall approached her in September, when she was still attending the church, and propositioned her. After several similar encounters, Jensen said, she cut off contact.

Hall continued to try to contact Jensen by telephone and ultimately threatened her, according to Jensen and her husband, Greg.

A trial in the stalking case is set for March 15.


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