Man accused of molesting 12-year-old girl inside church

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Lancaster man allegedly had sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl over a period of time in 2013 at the Hedstrom Baptist Church in Cheektowaga, where his father is the pastor.

Police say 27-year-old Caleb Sexton met the girl at the church in January 2012. The victim befriended Sexton on Facebook a year later, where they regularly chatted.

That summer, police say Sexton would meet the victim in a secluded part of the church and had sexual contact with her on multiple occasions. The encounters lasted until September 2013.

Hedstrom Baptist Church in Cheektowaga
Hedstrom Baptist Church in Cheektowaga

“They gravitate towards these positions of trust and, unfortunately, they betray their trust,” said Cheektowaga Police Asst. Chief James Speyer. “They’re preying on the weakest members of our society: our children.”

When the girl’s mother learned about the incidents in late August, she contacted police. Sexton was arrested September 26 following an in-depth investigation and charged with second degree criminal sexual act, second degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

At the time of his arrest, Sexton was the boys soccer and basketball coach at West Seneca Christian School on Union Road in West Seneca, where his brother is the principal. The victim was a student at the school last year. Police say at this time, there is no indication any current students were involved with Sexton.

School Administrator Dr. Orlando Buria said the school heard about the charges on Friday, and Sexton was immediately relieved of his volunteer position. He is not allowed on property.

The school has contacted all of their school families urging them to contact Cheektowaga Police with any information. If you have information, you can call 716-686-3970 or 716-686-3979.

Asst. Chief Speyer urged, “Talk to your children, confide in them that they’re not alone if this is going on, that there were other people that were affected. I think that, like this young girl, we will talk to them and make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Sexton is free on his own recognizance until his next court date on November 3. There is an order of protection at the church and school.

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