Father and son pastors Paul and Jordan Endrei charged with sex crimes, adamantly deny the accusations
The father and son leaders of a Westlake, Ohio church were arrested less than a week apart on sex abuse charges.
Church on the Rise assistant pastor Jordan Endrei was arrested Wednesday on one count of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, and his father, senior pastor Paul Endrei, was arrested May 29 on two counts of sexual battery and four counts of gross sexual imposition.
The accuser is one of Paul Endrei's adopted children who is under age 16.
Cleveland.com reported that Lorain County Children's Services were called to Endrei's Avon home on July 14, 2013, and the Avon Police Department was called to assist.
The 53-year-old's lawyer, Jack Bradley, told reporters that the daughter alleges that the violations occurred in 2005, 2009, and 2013. According to court reports, Jordan, 26, is being charged for an incident that took place between 2010 and 2011. Both men are free on bond.
After Paul's indictment, the church released a statement saying that they are praying for all of the parties involved.
"We pray for Pastor Paul, his wife and 5 children," they wrote. "We are aware that the allegations are coming from one of the children adopted by the Endreis. We pray that this troubled adolescent receive the help and counselling she needs.
"Pastor Paul maintains his presumption of innocence and hope that all reserve judgment until all facts are properly aired in a court of law. We not only have faith in our Lord but also in our system of justice."
Following Jordan's arrest, the church expressed continued support for their leaders, and asked parishioners to join them in prayer.
"We will continue to do everything we can to support Pastor Paul and his family - including the accuser - and we ask you to join us in prayer for a just outcome in court," they wrote in a Thursday news release.
Jordan is expected to plead not guilty at his arraignment. Paul Endrei pled not guilty to all charges on June 5, and is set for a June 13 pretrial.