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Thursday, November 29, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor charged with rape and sodomy

The pastor of a small Washington County church has been arrested and charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy for an incident that allegedly occurred nearly 10 years ago with a 15-year-old girl.

The Rev. Leonard Frazier, 55, of Stonewall Baptist Church nearChatom, was arrested Tuesday and released from Mobile County Metro Jail on $15,000 bail, according to jail records.

The alleged victim is now in her mid-20s, said Mobile County assistant district attorney Steve Giardini.

"It took a number of years for her to come forward," he said.

Alabama does not have a statute of limitations involving sex crimes against children.

Giardini said he didn't know if the woman was ever a member of Frazier's church, but that she knew him through her family.

The chairman of Stonewall's deacon board expressed surprise at the allegations against Frazier.

"I find him to be a righteous man, and his life has always been lined up with the word," Roscoe Gatson said.

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