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UPDATE: Former music minister court date set

Former music minister David Pierce's case has been set for plea and arraingment on Monday, June 15th in a circuit court. Pierce is accused of sexual indecency witha child.

Former music minister's case moved to circuit court

Former music minister David Pierce's case has been set for plea and arraingment on Monday, June 15th in a circuit court.

Pierce was scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday but entered a waiver of appearance. 

The prosecution signed off on the order moving the case to circuit court because formal charges were filed against Pierce since his first appearance in Saline County District Court. 

more charges against former music minister

More sex charges against a former church music teacher including allegations of crimes inside First Baptist Church in Benton. Saline County sheriff's investigators filed 53 additional counts of sexual indecency with a child against David Pierce.

Pierce, 56, went in and out of jail again Wednesday morning in Benton but the investigation is far from over.

Pierce faces 53 new sex counts involving teen boys.

"We're asking if there are any other youth that have been involved in this to please come forward," said sheriff Bruce Pennington.

Pennington says there are four victims, 11 others have been interviewed.

We went by Pierce's home, but no one answered. His neighbors say they've hardly seen him since his initial arrest ten days ago.

"Part of the reason we moved here was that he was here and that he was the nicest guy you'd ever meet," neighbor Karen Ray said.

Karen Ray says Pierce baptized her daughter.

"When you have a church that has 2200 people in it that have been intertwined in this man's life, they are all effected." Ray says.

The First Baptist Church in Benton, where Pierce worked, issued a statement saying they are still fully cooperating with police and will do so until the investigation ends. But that doesn't appear to be anytime soon.

When asked on a scale from 1 to 10 how close detectives are to wrapping the case up, Pennington told 3 or 4."

That means more interviews with church members.  Detectives believe there are allegations dating back more than 15 years including incidents inside the church.

Pennington says victims described items in Pierce's office that detectives ended up finding.  Items the sheriff says a music minister shouldn't have in his office.

"You're never really surprised, it's kind of like you think you've seen it all and then suddenly you haven't," Pennington said.

Detectives are a long way from reaching the end of this expanding sex crimes investigation.

David pierce worked as the music teacher at First Baptist Church for 29 years before being fired in April. Pierce can be re-arrested if more charges are filed. He's free on a $25,000 bond.

More charges expected for music minister

Wednesday morning the Saline County Sheriff plans to arrest a church music minister again. More teenage boys are accusing 56-year-old David Pierce of sexual indecency. All attended First Baptist Church of Benton.

Tuesday night, Pierce was out of jail on his sexual indecency charge after a judge set his bond at a court appearance last week. Sheriff Bruce Pennington planned to arrest him again at 9 a.m. Wednesday. "There have been other people to come forward and through the investigation this is reason for the arrest," Pennington said.

Sheriff Pennington planned to announce the charges Wednesday, but he did say at least two more teenage boys who attended the church accuse Pierce of additional crimes.

FOX16 went to Pierce's home to see what he has to say about all this but no one answered the door. Tuesday night there was no word from First Baptist Church either.

But in the past, Pastor Rick Grant has said he's heartsick because of all this and he's asking the faithful to pray for all those involved. Pennington said, "This is a shocking experience for everyone. Not just the church community but the community as well."

Sheriff Pennington says even after the arrest this won't be over. His office is investigating even more allegations. Regardless of the outcome of this case, it's reminding people in positions like Pierce's of the responsibility they have to their communities. "They have to strive harder to show that they are what they say they are," Pennington said.
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