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5 Jehovah's Witnesses charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania

David Balosa, 61, of Philadelphia, is charged with aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors for the alleged sexual abuse of a 4-year-old in Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office
1 of 5 | David Balosa, 61, of Philadelphia, is charged with aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors for the alleged sexual abuse of a 4-year-old in Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office

July 9 (UPI) -- Five men who are members of Jehovah's Witness congregations in Pennsylvania have been charged for allegedly sexually abusing children.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle A. Henry announced the charges Friday, more than three years after opening multiple investigations.

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"The details of these crimes are sad and disturbing, facts which are made even more abhorrent because the defendants used their faith communities or their own families to gain access to victims," Henry said in a statement.

Henry's report detailed the allegations against David Balosa, 61, Errol William Hall, 50, Shaun Sheffer, 45, Terry Booth, 57 and Luis Manuel Ayala-Velasquez, 55.

The youngest victim was a 4-year-old who was allegedly abused by Balosa. He was a guest living with the family of the child when the abuse took place in 1996. He had moved to the United States from Angola and the family let him stay with them until he found his own place.

Of the five men accused, Balosa is the only one that has not been arrested, WGAL reports.

Nine other men, also members of Jehovah's Witness congregations in Pennsylvania, were charged with sexual abuse between October and February.

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"Our office will never stop working to seek justice for those who have been victimized, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute anyone who harms the most vulnerable in our society," Henry said.

Henry's office is prosecuting these cases.

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