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Inglewood pastor accused of sex abuse pleads not guilty

July 6, 2012 |  7:32 pm

Gordon Soloman pleaded not guiltyA pastor at an Inglewood church pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of sexually abusing a teenage congregant, officials said. 

Gordon Solomon, 50, faces nine felony counts. He is being held in lieu of $3-million bail.

Authorities said Solomon met the now 14-year-old victim at Christ's Community Church, where he is the pastor. The alleged abuse started in June 2010 and didn't end until Sunday, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The two allegedly exchanged explicit emails and text messages of a sexual nature and would secretly meet at locations throughout the city, according to a statement from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.  

The victim's mother stumbled upon one of the text messages sent to the girl, authorities said. She called the police immediately.

Solomon was charged Friday with seven counts of committing a lewd act on a child, one count of continuous sexual abuse and one count of oral copulation of a person under the age of 14.

If convicted, Solomon faces up to 26 years and 8 months in state prison.

Authorities said there could be additional alleged victims. As a leader of the church, Solomon worked alongside children during Bible classes, computer lessons and choir rehearsal, a member said.

Church officials could not be reached for comment.

Christ's Community Church, at 234 Hindry Ave., formed in 1994 and serves a small congregation of 200, according to the its website. In the community, the church is known for its twice-weekly food pantry, where Solomon and other members handed out fresh produce, canned goods and bread to those in need.

Last year, the church gave out more than $1-million worth of food and non-food items to families in the community, according to the church's website.

"We continue to strive to do more," Solomon wrote. 

On Friday morning, several senior citizens arrived for the weekly food giveaway but were disappointed to find that the event had been canceled.

The sign posted on the church gate said nothing of Solomon's arrest, stating only: "No food giveaway."


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-- Angel Jennings

Photo: Gordon Solomon. Credit: Inglewood Police Department