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Pastor facing rape charges

Courtney Astolfi • May 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM

A Sandusky pastor who dodged a child rape conviction last year was indicted yet again this month for allegedly raping a young girl and fondling a young boy at his church a decade ago.

Richard Mick, 52, of the 8000 block Ohio 101, is now facing two counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition for the alleged incidents.

Both of the victims were about 8 years old when Mick allegedly abused them, and both were parishioners of his congregation, Lighthouse Baptist Church.

Both are now teenage adults.

Mick was charged with similar crimes — two counts of rape — in 2012 for allegedly raping another young parishioner on two occasions years ago.

The boy victim came forward with his story this past winter, after Erie County assistant prosecutor Mary Ann Barylski asked Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger Binette to dismiss the original case, citing a lack of evidence.    

The girl, however, came forward with her story at the same time the other young parishioner did in 2012.

“Based on the ongoing investigation, talking with the victim and reviewing the expert reports, the state submits that the state cannot prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Barylski stated in a court document when the original charges were dropped.

The state may have to contend with similar evidential circumstances in this case as well, as a substantial amount of time has passed since the incidents allegedly occurred.

The Bellevue-area girl Mick is now accused of raping told Sandusky police Detective Ken Nixon there were two instances in which Mick allegedly abused her — both occurring on church grounds.

She recalled the abuse happening on days her family attended church services, Nixon said.

Meanwhile, the Sandusky boy Mick allegedly fondled said those incidents occurred two or three times.

At the time, the 8-year-old boy occasionally had accidents. Mick allegedly accompanied the child into the bathroom to help him change his clothes, but would inappropriately touch him while doing so, Nixon said.

Both of the children’s parents had no inkling of the abuse at the time — nor did other church members, Nixon said.

“There’s no reason to believe anyone else knew about the acts” Nixon said.

Mick has yet to be interviewed for the recent case because he asked for a lawyer when confronted with the previous case in 2012, Nixon said.

The girl’s case was not sent to a grand jury until recently because she moved out of state shortly after she told police of the alleged abuse in 2012, Nixon said.

Mick was arrested Thursday morning and taken to the Erie County jail. He’s being held on $140,000 bond.

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