Police said Friday that they think there are other victims after a former youth pastor was arrested on 10-sexual related felonies allegedly involving a teenage parishioner.
John Picard is accused of having sexual relations with a girl starting in 1992 when she was 13 and continuing until she reached adulthood when he was at Mansfield’s Grace Brethren church, 10TV’s Glenn McEntyre reported.
Police said that the first claim against Picard, now 40, came in 2005. The girl, who at that time was 16, claimed that Picard first engaged with sexual conduct with her but investigators did not have any supporting evidence to charge him.
Another woman came forward last week who said she and Picard had a sexual relationship that started when she was 13.
Investigators said that Picard not only used his position in the church to prey on his victims that he also used scripture to convince the girls that what he was doing was right.
“They looked up to this person for their spiritual guidance,” said Mansfield police Detective Jeff Shook. “He violated that.”
Picard was placed under house arrest, McEntyre reported.
Shook said that he expects the list of women coming forward to grow.
“I wish I could have resolved it 3 1/2 years ago but it wasn’t time. Now it’s time,” Shook said. “People are coming forward and have figured out it’s time for this abuse to stop.”
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