VARBERG, Sweden, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- A Swedish pastor charged with sexually abusing two children during a trip with confirmation candidates was still in his post Thursday, officials said.
But the unnamed 60-year-old cleric in Sweden's western Halland province was removed from all assignments involving children, said Lasse Bengtsson, a spokesman for the Church of Sweden's Diocese of Gothenburg.
The pastor -- charged with one count of child rape and two of child sexual abuse -- allegedly committed the crimes during the confirmation group's trip to a major European city in October, Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported.
He was to appear at a Varberg District Court hearing Friday to determine if the prosecutor's case against him was sufficiently strong to warrant taking him into custody.
Prosecutor Klas Lundgren told the news agency the clergyman was likely to offend again if the court chose to release him. He said he also wanted the pastor held in custody to prevent him from hindering the investigation or destroying evidence.
The Church of Sweden professes the Lutheran branch of Christianity and is a member of Europe's Porvoo Communion.