Benton Harbor pastor charged with criminal sexual conduct appears in court
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - A Benton Harbor pastor accused of sexual assault was back in court on Wednesday.
Leroy Lane Jr. preached at the former Straight Gate Pentecostal Power Church. Multiple allegations have been made against Lane, accusing him of preying on and inappropriately touching teenage girls from his church.
Back in September 2021, Lane was accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl who was interviewed by investigators about the allegations.
According to documents obtained by 16 News Now, the girl was helping Lane prepare for a Super Bowl party at his home. She told investigators she was in his basement when he asked her to come sit with him on a reclining chair. She proceeded to sit on the arm of the chair.
He then asked her to sit on his lap, but she did not want to. That’s when he allegedly grabbed her, picked her up and put her on his lap. The victim then says Lane began to touch her thigh and rub her leg from her knee to the upper thigh.
The victim told investigators she yelled for her sister to come downstairs because she was concerned that Lane would touch a private part.
The victim also told investigators that Lane rubbed her backside while she was standing near a table of food later that same day.
Meanwhile, an older teen who is considered an adult in the court claims she was sexually assaulted by Lane in 2018.
The victim told investigators that Lane was helping her while she was going through a tough time financially, and even helped her obtain an apartment. She says Lane required her to give him a spare key to the apartment in case she lost hers.
She claims she was sexually attacked multiple times while she was sleeping after Lane would enter the apartment unannounced. She also told investigators that Lane had a handgun in his possession during these assaults.
Lane is denying the assault allegations and claims the incidents with the older teen were consensual.
After being ousted from Straight Gate, Lane now preaches at Rhema Word Ministries on Napier Avenue.
After a court delay, the judge ordered lane to be back in court next week.
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