A youth pastor charged with sexually abusing a minor in Maryland had been serving as a children’s program leader at a church in New York state while he was still under investigation.
Back in July, 32-year-old Shaun M. Ross was arrested in Frederick, Maryland and charged with two counts of sexually abusing a minor. He was the director of student ministry at the Cavalry Assembly church. According to court records, the pending charges originate from activity dating as far back as 2008 in a community near Baltimore.
In April 2013, however, Ross and his wife were appointed to lead the Victory Christian Center’s children’s programs in North Syracuse despite the fact that he was not allowed to be in contact with children during the investigation. Ross’ father, Rev. Terry Ross, is a senior pastor at the center.
“We are excited to announce that Shaun and Brandi Ross will be assuming leadership in our Children's ministry," read one of the center’s Facebook posts dated April 1, according to Syracuse.com. "Bring your children this Sunday for Kidz Revolution! They will love it!"
While the leaders of Victory Christian Center’s parent church, which is part of the Foursquare denomination, were informed of the allegations against Ross, they did not necessarily give approval for his April appointment.
"Pastor Terry Ross and son Shaun disclosed that Shaun had been accused of sexual misconduct while serving on the staff of a church in the Baltimore, Maryland, area and that charges are pending," Dan Ussery, who supervises the Foursquare churches in the Northeast, said to Syracuse.com in a written statement.
Ussery added that while Ross was permitted to attend Victory Christian Center and participate in the church’s worship team, he wasn’t allowed to actually work for the church or interact with any children or minors. He did not respond to further questions regarding the Facebook post that announced Ross’ appointment as children’s program leader.
Neither of the Ross men commented on the situation.
Rick Trunfio, first chief assistant district attorney for Onondaga County, where Syracuse is located, also confirmed that Ross is not allowed near any children. He added that an investigator from the sheriff’s office has contacted Victory Christian Center and Terry Ross about the situation.
Ross is set to appear in court for his trial in January.