Baton Rouge Police: More children come forward after teen minister arrested, acted indecently with 19 children between ages 6 and 13 _lowres

Kentrell Jackson

An 18-year-old man who ministers at a Baton Rouge church was arrested Monday after he told detectives he had molested 19 children over the past decade, a police report says.

Kentrell Jackson, 18, is accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl Saturday, a Baton Rouge police report says.

By Tuesday, two more children came forward, also accusing him of abuse, police said.

The girl Saturday said Jackson walked into her room about 10 p.m. and rubbed her buttocks while she was lying on her stomach on the floor, according to the report.

The victim told a family member about the incident and said Jackson had touched her inappropriately before, but she had been afraid to say anything, the report says.

Investigators later interviewed Jackson, who said he had molested 18 other children, both boys and girls between ages 6 and 13, the report says. He told detectives he started when he was 8 years old.

Jackson also said he had oral sex with several of them, according to the report.

“Just after the initial report, we had some more kids come forward to file a complaint,” Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said Tuesday.

After news of the arrest was made public, two girls, a 13-year-old and 14-year-old, came forward and said Jackson also had molested them, McKneely said.

The 14-year-old told detectives the incident happened on Thanksgiving Day, and the 13-year-old said Jackson touched her sometime in the last year, McKneely said.

Jackson’s grandmother, R.L. Wade, who is the pastor of the church where Jackson sometimes ministers, Jesus Name Apostolic Church on Weller Avenue, drove Jackson to the police station after he allegedly touched the 12-year-old girl.

“I stand for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” Wade said. “That’s it.”

Wade, however, said she thinks Jackson was manipulated into saying things that aren’t necessarily true.

“He don’t realize what he’s saying,” Wade said Tuesday. “You’ll think anything. You’ll cut your own throat.”

She said the 12th-grade student had been on medication until recently.

“He stopped taking it, and he needs help,” Wade said. “There was something that he was doing that I didn’t know about. If I had known, we could’ve been giving him help.”

Several times, Wade said “he needs help.”

Jackson, who lives with his grandmother, used to speak at the church every now and then, and at one point, he played the drums during services, his grandmother said. He wanted to get a degree in ministry, she said.

Jackson, 3945 Uncas St., was booked Monday into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile.

After the two girls came forward, police added two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and one count of sexual battery to his booking records.

“If there are other victims out there, please come forward,” McKneely said. “We will interview them and proceed accordingly.”