Rape charge filed over incident at church

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 3:29 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 3:34 PM

The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday approved a rape charge against a 19-year-old accused of assaulting a child at a church in the township.

Blake Cole remains in the county jail on the charge, which the prosecutor’s office said involves a child younger than 10 years old.

County sheriff’s detectives arrested Cole on Tuesday night at Fort McKinley United Methodist Church, in the 3700 block of West Siebenthaler Avenue.

Content Continues Below

Primary Pastor Dave Hood told News Center7’s Kate Bartley that Cole and the child regularly attend services at the church.

The Tuesday night of the incident is “Discipleship Night” at the church. According to Hood, sheriff’s deputies attend the church — as security guards — and he said a deputy discovered the incident involving Cole and the child.

Someone at the church called 911 and the child was taken to a hospital, said Hood.

When asked why the child was alone with an 19-year-old, the pastor said, “We trying to figure this out.”

“We support both families.” Spiritual and physical wellness is important for members but especially children, said Hood.

The church on Thursday issued the following statement: “The spiritual, emotional and physical safety of all our members is of highest priority to Fort McKinley Church - especially for our children, which is why we deploy trained security at our Tuesday night Discipleship events and follow security procedures for our Children’s Ministry.

“We are heartbroken by the allegations from April 9, and our staff is fully cooperating with law enforcement and investigators in every possible manner. We ask that the community join us in prayer for all those involved in this situation.”