Former Arkansas youth minister accused of having inappropriate contact with up to 30 boys | New
A former Arkansas youth minister has been accused by authorities of having inappropriate sexual contact with up to 30 boys.
Prosecutors charged Keenan’s Horde32 years old, with several serious crimes involving sexual abuse and exploitation of minors who were involved in the ministries of youth to which he was linked, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.
Two detectives from Bentonville, Ark., testified at a bond hearing on Friday (Aug. 27) that officials searched Hord’s house on August 24 to seize the electronic devices found there.
Police sergeant. Josh Woodham testified that he examined a phone belonging to one of the boys which revealed a romantic and sexual relationship between Hord and the boy. Up to 5,000 conversations took place on the phone between them, Woodhams said. He also noted that half a million text messages were on the phone and included contact with up to 30 boys.
Bentonville Detective james bootman testified that Hord’s wife later informed police that her husband had left the residence and had not returned. He also said police spoke to six victims and identified up to 30 possible victims by examining Hord’s cellphone.
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Hord was arrested on August 24 for sexual assault, possession of a case describing sexually explicit conduct involving a child, and sexual indecency with a minor. Prosecutors have not filed formal charges against him, according to the Democrat-Gazette.
Hord is said to have served on the staff of at least two Southern Baptist churches, most recently First Baptist Bentonville. He had also worked for Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee.
First Baptist said in a statement Friday that the allegations came after Hord’s employment was terminated, according to Baptist Press. It is not known exactly when this took place.
“We were devastated to learn that a former employee of our church has been credibly accused of abusing teenagers during his tenure at our church,” First Baptist Bentonville said in a statement to the publication. “Although these accusations only came to light after his employment ended, when we heard about them, we immediately contacted our local authorities, reported to the child abuse hotline of Arkansas and continue to fully support law enforcement’s ongoing investigation.”
Benton County Circuit Judge green robin set Hord’s bond at $500,000 in cash. He is expected to be arraigned on October 3.