Former Minister, Beaufort Newspaper Columnist Charged With Child Sex Crimes

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A former minister and newspaper columnist in the east is charged with sex offenses with a child.

The Pasquotank Sheriff's Office says 49-year-old Michael Gothard was served this week with warrants at his home in Beaufort in Carteret County for five counts of indecent liberties with a child and six counts of first degree sexual offense. Investigators say the victim was under the age of 13 at the time of the crimes. Deputies say Gothard was a minister at New Community Church in Elizabeth City and he lists himself online as a columnist at the Daily Advance,the Beaufort-Hyde News, and the Chowan Herald newspapers.

The Pasquotank Sheriff's Office says deputies got a report in February of Gothard committing sex crimes with a victim under the age of 13 during a 6 year period between 1999 and 2005. A grand jury indicted Gothard this month and he is expected in court within a couple of weeks.