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Homestead pastor facing new molestation charges

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By Margaret Harding
Monday, July 14, 2014, 12:21 p.m.
 

A Homestead pastor is accused of inappropriately touching a teenage congregation member, which, if true, would violate a plea deal on a previous sexual assault charge, an Allegheny County judge said on Monday.

County police charged Duane Youngblood, 47, of Wilkinsburg with one felony count of corrupting a minor.

Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman sentenced Youngblood to a year of house arrest and seven years of probation in 2008 on his guilty plea to sexual assault. Part of the plea deal prohibited Youngblood from counseling children.

“My thought was the seven years probation was a long enough tail that I could get him if he reoffends,” Cashman said. “Obviously, if the allegations are to be believed on this one, he has re-offended. He gets no credit for any of the time on probation. He starts all over again, looking at five to 10 years on the violation.”

Court records do not indicate whether Youngblood has hired an attorney. A woman who identified herself as a relative of his declined comment.

A judge ordered Youngblood to be jailed under $50,000 bond on Sunday, records show.

Neighbors, who didn't want to give their names, expressed surprise that Youngblood had returned to the church, which they said holds an annual street festival with music and children.

Youngblood has written several books, including “Freedom from Homosexuality: No Longer Living the Lie.”

Cashman said his office received frequent requests from Youngblood to travel out of state for church-related activities.

“We just stopped letting him do it,” Cashman said. “It just appeared to be an excuse to get him out on the road.”

A 21-year-old man told police on Saturday that Youngblood engaged in sex with him during counseling sessions that began when he was 16, according to a criminal complaint.

The man told police that he began attending Youngblood's Higher Call World Outreach Church on Mifflin Street in Homestead at age 10. The counseling in a church office began after his 16th birthday in May 2009, he told police. The man said sex acts occurred 25 times during counseling, ending when he was 18 and told Youngblood he no longer wanted to participate in counseling, according to the criminal complaint.

He said Youngblood had told him not to tell his mother and that “we are not going to speak about this,” the complaint said.

In 2006, Allegheny County police charged Youngblood with sexual assault, corruption of minors and other charges, court records show.

He was accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in 2002 while counseling the boy, police said at the time. The teen sought counseling from Youngblood because a cousin had molested him, police said.

Youngblood pleaded guilty to sexual assault and was required to register for life as a sex offender with the state police Megan's Law registry.

Margaret Harding is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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