Sex Charges Dropped against Granby Pastor George Otis Johnston

The Joplin Globe
December 22, 2009

All charges have been dropped against the former pastor of a rural Granby church who had been previously accused of molesting two women while they were underage, the Newton County Prosecutor’s office said this morning.

A case review hearing was originally scheduled for this afternoon in the case of George Otis Johnston, the pastor of Grandview Valley Baptist Church. Johnston faced 17 felony counts, all of which were dismissed Monday, according to Assistant Newton County Prosecutor Bill Dobbs.

“Not at this time,” Dobbs said when asked if there were any plans to refile charges.

Dobbs had previously told the Globe that the state’s witnesses, apart from the two alleged victims, had either recanted or altered their previous statements to authorities.

Dobbs said prosecutors also had contacted the two women, and that both concurred with the decision to drop the charges.

Johnston, 66, originally was one of a half-dozen people connected with fringe churches in Newton and McDonald counties, and who in 2006 found themselves facing multiple charges after a probe into alleged sexual abuse of children.

Ultimately, all charges were dismissed against all the defendants in McDonald County, partially because of problems with witnesses.


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