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Ohio pastor sentenced to life in prison for sex trafficking of a minor

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Posted at 8:19 PM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 20:19:12-04

TOLEDO, Ohio — A Toledo pastor was sentenced to life in prison for sex trafficking of a minor, while another Toledo pastor was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for similar crimes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Cordell Jenkins, 48, sexually exploited a minor on numerous occasions at his home, his office at Abundant Life Ministries and a motel in Toledo. He paid the minor, calling the transaction “hush money,” according to authorities.

Court documents showed that Jenkins recorded the interactions on his cell phone, authorities said.

Jenkins, Kenneth Butler, 39, and another pastor, Anthony Haynes, sexually assaulted a minor over the course of three years, according to authorities.

The girl was 14 and she in the custody of Haynes when the contact began, some of which took place in at Greater Life Christian Center in Toledo, where Haynes was a pastor at the time, authorities said.

Haynes facilitated the girl being sexually assaulted by other men, including Jenkins, according to authorities.

Jenkins was sentenced to life in prison, while Butler received a sentence of 210 months in prison. The two previously pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy to sex traffic children, sex trafficking of children and other related charges.

Haynes had already been convicted of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor, child exploitation and obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation following a trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced later this year, according to authorities.

"Our children should not be bought, sold or traded,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith said. “They should not be used for financial or personal gain. The children who are victimized in the vicious world of sex trafficking deserve justice. In federal court in Toledo, justice was served. Pastor Anthony Haynes violated every trust bestowed on him - as a leader of the church, he was responsible for helping those in need. Especially children. As we saw this week, he violated that trust in the worst way imaginable. Today we are thankful for the law enforcement partnerships that led to this verdict."