Sunday, July 21, 2024

Former Leland youth pastor to be extradited from Maryland, accused of 2009 child molestation

The suspect is currently in custody in Maryland awaiting extradition.

Merle Darnell Davis, 65, was arrested by authorities in Maryland Friday morning on charges from the Leland Police Department; he is currently in custody and facing extradition. (Port City Daily photo / Leland Police Department)
Merle Darnell Davis, 65, was arrested by authorities in Maryland Friday morning on charges from the Leland Police Department; he is currently in custody and facing extradition. (Port City Daily photo / Leland Police Department)

LELAND — The Leland Police Department is waiting on the extradition of a former youth pastor after charging him with statutory rape and child molestation.

Merle Darnell Davis, 65, is currently in custody at the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland, where he was arrested Friday morning on charges brought by the Leland Police Department.

Leland police are charging Davis with one count of a statutory sex offense of a 13, 14, or 15-year-old child, and three counts of indecent liberties with a child. The charges stem from a March, 2017, report of sexual assault on a juvenile. The report alleges that Davis repeatedly assaulted a child at Village Oaks Apartments, on Village Road in Leland — the report alleges the assaults took place over the summer of 2009, between June and August.

At the time, Davis was a youth pastor at the Johnson Chapel AME Zion Church on Lincoln Road, according to Leland Police Spokesperson Jeremy Humphries, Davis

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