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pastor charged with sexually abusing boy and girl

A Chestertown pastor is being held on $500,000 bond at Kent County Detention Center after being charged with the repeated sexual abuse of a 13-year-old boy.

Jerry Darnell Bartley, 39, was arrested Wednesday and charged with six counts of sodomy and one count each of second-degree child abuse, sex abuse of a minor, sex abuse of a minor continuing course of conduct and second-degree assault.

At a Thursday bail review, Judge John Edward Nunn III set Bartley's bail at $500,000 cash or certified check. Bartley had not made bail as of Thursday afternoon.

The Kent Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that Bartley is "is a licensed foster parent through Arrow Child and Family Ministries" and "a pastor at the Faith and Deliverance Church in Chestertown."

A Web site for Mt. Olive Pentacostal Church in Smyrna, Del., lists the "Faith and Deliverance Restoration Ministries" in Chestertown as an affiliated church with Jerry Bartley as its pastor and overseer. The Star Democrat's archives indicate that a Jerry Bartley had been a co-pastor of the United Church of Deliverance in Chestertown in 2002.

According to charging documents obtained from Kent County District Court, Bartley sexually abused a 13-year-old boy numerous times during the past several months. The documents state the abuse began sometime after this past Christmas and continued until the week of April 5 this year.

Bartley is accused of sexual abuse so severe as to cause the boy internal injuries. Documents state a medical examination on Tuesday by the Talbot County Children's Advocacy Center found that the boy had injuries consistent with being sexual abused.

Police said in a statement that the investigation began on April 16 after Kent County Social Services received an anonymous complaint about the abuse. After interviewing the boy and receiving the results of the medical examination, Bartley was arrested at his home without incident and taken to the Maryland State Police Centreville Barrack for processing on Wednesday, police said.

"Police are urging anyone with information about this case or any other case where Bartley may have had inappropriate contact with others to contact the Kent Bureau of Investigation at 410-778-0490 or kbimdsp.org," police said in a statement.

Bartley has a preliminary hearing set for May 20 in Kent County District Court.

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A Chestertown pastor accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy now faces more than 70 additional charges involving the alleged molestation of a 6-year-old girl.

Court records show 39-year-old Jerry Bartley was charged with the additional crimes last week. The counts he faces include second-degree child abuse, second-degree sex offense and sex abuse of a minor.

Bartlett is accused of molesting the girl on 12 separate occasions at his home between March 1 and April 16.

Charging documents show that the girl told investigators about the abuse, and a medical examination found injuries consistent with what she described.

Bartley is a licensed foster parent and the pastor at Faith and Deliverance Church in Chestertown. State officials say two foster children have been removed from his care.

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