A Centerville pastor faces new child molestation charges days before finishing a 35-day jail sentence for a misdemeanor sexual battery conviction against a 9-year-old girl.
Wiley Green Leverett, 58, preacher at Solid Rock Community Church, is charged with two counts of child molestation and one count each of sexual battery and enticing a child for indecent purposes. All the charges are felonies.
Leverett is accused of enticing a young girl into the church sanctuary to pray and then fondling her, according to arrest warrants. He's also accused of inappropriately touching the girl's private parts while he sat on a toilet in a church restroom.
"This is not a child that was involved in the previous case," Houston County Assistant District Attorney Eric Edwards said.
Edwards said the girl, now a teenager, was 6 or 7 at the time of the alleged acts. The alleged acts occurred between March 1, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2011, according to warrants.
Edwards declined to elaborate on the case.
"I don't have enough information at this point to speak authoritatively to the charges," said Leverett's attorney, Russell Walker of Perry.
"My belief in Mr. Leverett is not shattered by this. ... There are some things about the allegations that seem fishy. There are some things that I know that make it seem fishy already with the very, very little that know," Walker said.
Walker declined to elaborate.
The allegations came to light through the Division of Family and Children Services, which contacted the Houston County Sheriff's Office's Juvenile Division, said Capt. Randall Banks, who heads that division.
Leverett is free on a $5,000 bond pending trial after a hearing Thursday before Houston County Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden.
Leverett is prohibited from contact with the alleged victim and children under 18, according to the bond order.
In March, Leverett was convicted of sexual battery against a child under 16, a misdemeanor, for touching a 9-year-old girl's thigh while he was driving a church bus in 2012.
Leverett was two days shy of completing his sentence when the new charges were lodged against him, Walker said.
He was initially indicted on multiple counts of child molestation and other charges after he was accused of inappropriately touching four girls ranging in age from 8 to 16.
He was tried only in connection with the accusations of one of the girls and convicted on only the one misdemeanor charge. The other charges were quashed by the judge, which means that prosecutors could not pursue those charges at trial and would have to reindict Leverett in order to pursue them.