The Christian Post reports:
The Rev. Cornelius Tilton, a longtime pastor, businessman and president of the Christian Bible College has been charged with sexually assaulting a student on an international flight bound for Newark, New Jersey, the DOJ announced. According to the complaint against Tilton, on or about Nov. 30, the victim identified as a 19-year-old male student at a theological seminary, was traveling with a group of students from a religious trip to Israel back to New Jersey.
Tilton, 65, who is a married great-grandfather, had accompanied the group as an unofficial guide and speaker. During the flight, Tilton sat in a window seat next to the victim. The complaint noted that at some time during the flight, the pastor placed his hand on the student’s bare calf. He then continued touching the victim’s thigh and eventually began rubbing the student’s genitals over his shorts.
The New York Post reports:
The victim got up to go to the bathroom in hopes of ending the assault — but Tilton allegedly went to the restroom as well. When both were back in their seats, Tilton allegedly touched the teen’s lower back under his clothing. Then he attempted to stick his hand down the front of the victim’s pants — but the victim blocked him, prosecutors said.
The teen then got up to inform a flight attendant. The pastor was arrested when the flight arrived in Newark Saturday, and charged with one count of abusive sexual contact. Tilton, a New Orleans native, could face up to two years behind bars, a $250,000 fine or both if convicted.
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According to the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “During the flight, Tilton allegedly placed his hand on the victim’s bare calf. Tilton continued to touch the victim’s thigh, and eventually began rubbing the victim’s genitals over the victim’s shorts. The victim did not react, or look at Tilton, out of shock and fear.”
Prosecutors added, “Tilton took the victim’s hand and placed it on Tilton’s erect penis, on top of his clothing. The victim got up to go to the bathroom, in hopes of ending the assault. Tilton also went to the bathroom.
When the victim and Tilton were back in their seats, Tilton continued to touch the bare skin of the victim’s lower back, underneath the victim’s clothing. Tilton moved his hand around to the front of the victim’s waistline, and attempted to place his hand down the victim’s pants, when the victim blocked Tilton’s hand with his elbow.”
Reverend Grabby Hands Tilton is married with four adult children, eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter.