Layperson arrested on sex charge

A New Washington man was arrested Monday after being indicted by a Seneca County grand jury on charges of gross sexual imposition and kidnapping.

Emanuel Lewis, 61, was arrested after he turned himself in at the Seneca County Jail Monday morning, Detective Sgt. Kevin Reinbolt of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said.

Lewis, who was indicted on one count each of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, and kidnapping, a first-degree felony, is accused of having sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl and restraining her liberty March 28. Lewis’ indictment also specifies he committed the kidnapping with a sexual motivation.

Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine said Lewis served as a layperson at a church at the time of the incident. Reinbolt said the victim was a member of the church, Bloomville United Methodist Church, at the time. He said the girl was not physically injured.

According to reports from the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, the Rev. Scott Blevins, head pastor of Bloomville United Methodist Church and New Washington United Methodist Church, reported the incident in July.

Blevins said Monday that Lewis had served as a volunteer lay person, but after the church learned of the alleged incident, Lewis was not allowed back on church grounds.

He also said the alleged incident didn’t occur on church grounds and the church has reached out to the victim and her family.

A spokeswoman from Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Shuff’s courtroom said Monday a bond hearing had not been set yet for Lewis. According to his indictment, if convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.