Former Christian Aid Ministries worker pleads guilty to abusing minors in Ohio

Oct 28, 2019 by

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Former Christian Aid Ministries worker Jeriah Mast pleaded guilty Oct. 9 to sexually abusing two boys in Holmes County, Ohio.

He is still wanted for charges of abuse and sexual assault of five minors in Haiti, where he had been serving until this year with CAM, an Anabaptist relief agency. The organization placed two leaders on administrative leave June 17 because they knew of sexual abuse allegations as early as 2013 but allowed him to continue working.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Mast, of Millersburg, Ohio, faced 14 counts alleging abuse of five minors between 1999 and 2008, but 12 counts were dismissed in a plea agreement.

He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of gross sexual imposition. One incident took place with a 12-year-old boy in 1999 or 2000, the other with a boy aged 11 or 12 in 2005 or 2006. He denied abusing the first boy, but still pleaded guilty.

In May, Mast confessed to police he abused boys for about 15 years in Ohio and Haiti. Prosecutor Sean Warner said the plea agreement was offered because all but two victims were 13 or older at the time of the abuse, reducing five of seven felony charges to misdemeanors beyond the statute of limitations. Warner said four of five victims felt they had forgiven Mast.

“They did not really want a part of this prosecution even while admitting that what he did was wrong,” Warner said.

Sentencing for the Ohio crimes is set for Nov. 5.

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