Former youth pastor charged with child sex crime


LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Leland Police say they have charged a former youth pastor with sex crimes involving a child nearly a decade after the alleged crimes.

Police say Merle Darnell Davis, 65, faces one count of statutory sex offense of a 13-, 14-, or 15-year-old and three counts of indecent liberties with a child.

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In March 2017 Leland Police say they got a report of a sexual assault of a juvenile at the Parks at Village Oaks Apartments on Village Road. Police say the incidents are alleged to have happened between June and August 2009. They say at the time Davis was a youth pastor at Johnson Chapel AME Zion Church on Lincoln Road in Leland.

The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland located Davis this morning. He is in their custody pending extradition.

Davis is listed on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry for a 2012 conviction for sexual solicitation of a minor.

A Leland Police spokesman said there could be more victims in our area, but they do not know for sure. If you have any information, you should contact Leland Police.