Chestertown Pastor Charged with Sexual Assault

A licensed foster parent and pastor in Chestertown is behind bars on multiple charges after being accused of sodomizing a boy. The Kent (Md.) Bureau of Investigation arrested 39-year-old Jerry Darnell Bartley on six counts of sodomy, one count each of child abuse, sex abuse of a minor, sex abuse of a minor-continuing course of conduct and second-degree assault. If convicted, Bartley faces up to 140 years imprisonment. The investigation began on April 16 when an anonymous complaint was received by Kent County Social Services. The KBI was contacted and initiated a joint investigation into the allegations.

Investigators say the victim, who is not being identified, was subsequently located and disclosed to investigators that between December 2009 and April 2010, Bartley sodomized him on at least six occasions. According to police, the victim stated that all of these incidents occurred in Bartley’s home. Bartley was interviewed but was not immediately charged pending the results of a forensic examination on the victim.