Ex-Youth Pastor Faces New Charges of Sex Battery

By Mark Caudill
August 19, 2008

MANSFIELD — Another person has come forward in the John Picard sexual battery case.

MANSFIELD — Another person has come forward in the John Picard sexual battery case.

Picard, 40, of Springboro, was arrested last month and charged with 10 counts of sexual battery. He is accused of having sexual relations with a teenage parishioner starting in 1992, when she was 13, and continuing until she reached adulthood. Picard was a youth pastor at Grace Brethren Church on Marion Avenue at the time.

John Picard is charged with 16 counts of sexual battery.

Picard was charged with six more counts of sexual battery in indictments released Monday. If convicted on all 16 counts, he could receive up to 80 years in prison.

"The charges stem from as early as fall of 1991 and carry through to September of 1997," Richland County Assistant Prosecutor Gary Bishop said.

Bishop alleged the victims were members of or attended Grace Brethren Church.

"Picard was acting in his position of cleric or minister," he said.

The assistant prosecutor explained the charges.

"Sexual battery takes a number of different forms," Bishop said. "It could involve a person who's a teacher with a student where it's based on the relationship of the parties."

Picard was being held in the county jail on $250,000 bond.

The grand jury also indicted Julie A. Hartge, 43, of 1161 Crestwood Drive, on four counts of aggravated vehicular assault and four counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs of abuse. The first four counts are third-degree felonies. The rest are misdemeanors.

Hartge was driving south on Beal Road in Madison Township on Jan. 25 when she lost control on a curve, struck a ditch and turned over. One of the occupants of her vehicle was paralyzed from the neck down, Bishop said, while the other suffered head injuries.

Authorities allege Hartge had cocaine in her system at the time.

The grand jury also indicted Deonte A. Jacocks, 24, of 491 King St., on charges of drug possession and two counts of assault on a peace officer.

Mansfield police stopped Jacocks' vehicle July 15. Police allege he had crack and assaulted two officers during the arrest. The officers sustained minor injuries, Bishop said.

Contact:, 419-521-7219.


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