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Southern Baptist members from Kansas City metro named in sex crime report

Posted: 5:41 PM, Feb 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-12 18:41:33-05
Southern Baptist Convention

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Following a report that named 220 Southern Baptist Convention leaders and volunteers who were found guilty of sexual abuse dating back 20 years, 41 Action News found that some of the convicted or accused members had cases in the Kansas City metro.

The investigation from the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News took around one year and involved hundreds of interviews and reviews of thousands of legal records.

According to a database compiled during the investigation, four Southern Baptist Convention church members in the Kansas City area were found to be tied to sexual crime investigations:

Robert Michael Black, pastor convicted in Clay County: After being accused of soliciting sex with a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl, Black was arrested in April 2009. Black served as a pastor at New Home Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. He pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted enticement of a child before being sentenced to five years in prison in September 2011.

Shawn Davies, youth pastor convicted in Jackson County: Davies served at the First Baptist Church in Greenwood, Missouri. He was convicted of 25 counts of abuse dating back to 2003. His charges included statutory sodomy and sexual misconduct with a child under the age of 14. Davies also was convicted of sex crimes in Kentucky.

John Henry Stone, deacon and youth group leader convicted in Jackson County: Stone became a registered sex offender after being convicted of child molestation. The newspaper says his victims were two girls, ages 10 and 12. Stone received five years probation in 2015.

Kessler Lichtenegger, teen volunteer convicted in Johnson County (Kansas): Lichtenegger was convicted in 2015 of attempted rape and attempted electronic solicitation. He is currently serving a sentence of 14 years behind bars and is a registered sex offender.

In total, the newspaper investigation said around 700 victims reported the crimes around the country.

The youngest victim was reported to be around 3 years old at the time of the alleged sexual crime.

After the report was published, a Southern Baptist pastor told NBC News that he hoped the findings would help lead to changes in the ways the church handles sexual crime investigations.