A youth pastor, Shaun M. Ross of Syracuse, N.Y., is facing trial for sexually abusing a minor in another state. He worked at Central New York church as a children’s worship leader while under investigation.
The 32-year-old has been charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in Maryland, Syracuse.com reported. Ross was detained in July in Frederick, Md., and charges originated from activity that started in 2008, court documents say.
Ross was the director of student ministry at the Calvary Assembly church in Walkersville, Md. The pastor at the church, the Rev. John Kenney, did not want to comment on Ross or the investigation.
"Please know that we have zero tolerance for misconduct of any staff," Kenney wrote in an email to Syracuse.com.
For about a year, Ross and his wife have been living with his father, the Rev. Terry Ross, who is the senior pastor at the Victory Christian Center in North Syracuse. According to the church’s Facebook page, Shaun Ross and his wife, Brandi, took the responsibility of caring for the children’s programs at the Victory Christian Center in April.
"We are excited to announce that Shaun and Brandi Ross will be assuming leadership in our Children's ministry," reads a post from April 1. "Bring your children this Sunday for Kidz Revolution! They will love it!"
Syracuse.com reached out to the Ross residence, but the call was not returned.
The North Syracuse’s parent church, a member of the Foursquare denomination, knew of the charges against Shaun Ross. Dan Ussery, who manages the Northeast Foursquare churches, said the Rev. Terry Ross and Shaun Ross discussed the charges with the church.
"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," Ussery wrote in a statement.
Rick Trunfio, first chief assistant district attorney for Onondaga County, said Shaun Ross is not allowed anywhere near children. An investigator from sheriff's office contacted the Victory Christian Center and Ross' father.
Ross is scheduled to appear in court for his trial in January in Frederick, Md.