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Saturday, December 29, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Mega-church music minister arrested for incest

The music minister at the Heritage Christian Center was arrested Thursday after a 15-year-old relative accused him of sexually assaulting her, the Arapahoe County sheriff said.

James Howard Brown, 38, was arrested for investigation of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, displaying a pattern of sexual assault on a child and aggravated incest.

He was being held under $50,000 bail. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.

Sheriff J. Grayson Robinson said there was a disturbance at Brown’s home Thursday morning after the girl told relatives Brown had assaulted her, prompting Brown’s wife to call authorities.

"It doesn’t appear that there are other victims at this time, though we are still investigating," Robinson said.

Garret Leonard, executive pastor at Heritage Christian Center (and second son of the church's pastor, Bishop Dennis Leonard), said Brown has been relieved of his duties.

“We will assess the situation as more details become available. We will continue to pray for all parties involved in this situation,” Leonard said in a statement.

The Denver church has more than 10,000 members. Brown was the director of the church choir’s first album “Send It Down,” recorded in 2001.