W. Tennessee Pastor Indicted on Rape Charges

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A former church pastor has been indicted on charges of rape and sexual battery by an authority figure.

Former Walnut Grove Baptist Church pastor Steven Haney is accused of engaging in a five-year sexual affair with a church member that began when the boy was 15-years-old.

The 47-year-old man was arrested in July and is free on a $25,000 bond. He stepped down as pastor of the church in November after serving 20 years.

The boy, now 21, testified at a preliminary hearing in August that Haney told him the sexual relationship was "God's plan" and that having sex with him would help him fulfill his ambition to become a minister himself.

The accuser says sexual encounters happened in the pastor's church office, at Haney's home and at Haney's mother's home.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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