Youth minister at Fairview Heights church accused of sexually abusing minors

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by KMOV.com Staff | @KMOV

KMOV.com

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 14 at 8:30 AM

(KMOV) – A man who worked as a youth minister at a Fairview Heights church faces charges after he allegedly sexually abused a minor at his home in Shiloh.

Jeffrey Strait, 47, was charged Wednesday with four counts of aggravated sexual abuse, all felonies.

According to police, authorities on Friday began investigating after the victim claimed they were sexually abused by Strait at his home in the 2700 block of Lake Lucerne Dr. when they were a minor.

Police say four more alleged victims have stepped forward since the investigation began.

Police say Strait worked as a church deacon or youth minister at First Baptist Church, and authorities are confident none of the incidents occurred at the church.

Dr. Jim Kerr, a senior pastor at First Baptist, released a statement on the charges Thursday morning.

“As a church family, we grieve for anyone who may have been victimized and pray for their total healing,” he said. “Our compassion and love also goes out to the family of the individual charged.”

Strait is currently being held at the St. Clair County Jail on $500,000 bond.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Shiloh police at (618)-632-9047.

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