View a previous report on the investigation at the church in the video player above.

HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH) – A man accused of sexually assaulting multiple underage girls at a Hilliard church is facing seven felony charges.

According to a news release from the Hilliard Division of Police, Joshua Pearson, 23, of Columbus was indicted on:

  • Four felony counts of rape,
  • One felony count of gross sexual imposition
  • Two felony counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor

In January, Hilliard police opened an investigation into incidents that took place at the Open Gate Church of God, located at 4410 Avery Road, from about 2012 to 2014. 

Two female victims reported sexual assaults involving Pearson, who was then a teenage member of the church assisting in the children’s and teen rooms, Hilliard police said. The victims were 7 and 10 years old at the time of the reported incidents. Pearson has also been charged in connection with a 2021 sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

The Open Gate Church of God is now called the New Beginnings Church of God. According to Hilliard police, it is now under new leadership and the investigation does not involve any current staff.