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Pastor Arrested for Sexual Battery

A central Ohio pastor is in trouble with the law, facing allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a teenager in his congregation; a child he was supposed to be counseling.

The allegations have rocked a central Ohio community.

As pastor, Daniel Monk used to preach behind the pulpit at Soul's Harbor Pentecostal Church in Millersport. Little did anyone know or expect he would soon end up behind bars.

The 47-year-old was arrested Saturday on a charge of felony Sexual Battery. This, after allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old girl who attended his church.

According to records from Licking County Municipal Court, late last month the girl's mother called Hebron Police over concerns of an inappropriate relationship between her daughter and Monk. Records state when police interviewed Monk roughly a week later, the married man admitted to being the girl's boyfriend and that they had kissed and had sex on at least two separate occasions. The records go on to say Monk had been counseling the 16-year-old because of her parents' decision to divorce.

According to Licking County Prosecutor Kenneth Oswalt, the alleged incidents happened between April 30 and September 1 of this year while Monk was a pastor at Soul’s Harbor. Oswalt says Monk is no longer the pastor at the church.

In Millersport, news of Monk’s arrest spread fast. “I don't know what else to say other than we're just shocked,” said Karen Severance. “It's just heart breaking and my heart goes out to their family and it's just a sick feeling I’m sure everyone who knew him is feeling right now because he was a well-liked man.”

Those who live next to Monk's home in Hebron couldn’t agree more. “You would have never expected that,” said Sabrina Scott. “He'd talk to you, he'd ask if you needed help with your driveways. I mean, he wasn't like shunning you like some neighbors.” “Just a normal neighbor I, thought. Just like everyone else.”

Daniel Monk posted bond from the Licking County Jail Monday night.

According to Oswalt, additional charges may be considered by the grand jury.