Woman says she was abused numerous times by pastor, arrest warrant states

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4JAX on Tuesday obtained the arrest warrant for Paul Dyal, a pastor who was arrested and charged with capital sexual battery following a raid at his North Jacksonville church.

The warrant details an interview with a woman, who alleged abuse by Dyal, telling investigators she endured repeated sexual abuse when she was under the age of 12. She told police that Dyal molested her 20 to 30 times.

The warrant states that the woman said many times it would start with a bath, which was at Dyal’s home above the church.

According to the warrant, she told her parents what was happening, but they didn’t believe it.

In the report, the survivor suggested that what was happening was widespread, adding that she “felt happy when new girls would come to the church because she believed she would endure less sexual abuse.”

The warrant notes that the law firm of Cohen, Millstein, Sellers and Toll sent a demand letter to Dyal in 2019 on behalf of multiple people, but the church never responded.

On Monday, News4JAX spoke with eight women of the church, who said they endured mental and physical abuse from leaders of the Jacksonville Assembly of the Body of Christ Church.

Dyal, 78, was arrested Wednesday night after a coordinated raid at the church. Jerome Teschendorf, 68, who was arrested in Newalla, Oklahoma, and Vernon Williamson, 85, who was arrested in Ardmore, Oklahoma, were also arrested and charged with capital sexual battery.

The Sheriff’s Office has asked anyone with additional information to come forward to authorities.


About the Authors:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.