Ex-pastor, men facing sexual battery charges in church investigation scheduled for court appearances

Pastor of Jacksonville church arrested in raid 1 of 3 charged with capital sexual battery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.Disclaimer: Some may find the details included in this story to be graphic in nature. Discretion is advised.

Three men who face charges of sexual battery in what the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said was an investigation into “long-term sexual and physical abuse of minors” in a church are scheduled to appear before a judge this month.

Paul Dyal was a pastor of the Jacksonville Assembly of the Body of Christ on Old Kings Road North. He was arrested on a charge of capital sexual battery during a coordinated raid on the church in March.

While investigators were making the arrest, additional warrants were being served in Oklahoma. The Sheriff’s Office said Jerome Teschendorf, who was arrested in Newalla, Oklahoma, and Vernon Williamson, who was arrested in Ardmore, Oklahoma, were also arrested and charged with capital sexual battery.

The state wants to keep Teschendorf behind bars before his pretrial hearing. A motion filed in July says it’s necessary because of his two capital sexual battery charges, his ability and means to leave the state, and because a now redacted court record indicates he made a confession to investigators.

PREVIOUS STORY: Arrest warrant details horrific sexual abuse endured by survivor linked to North Jacksonville church

According to Teschendorf’s arrest report, he sexually abused the survivor who reported him to Dyal “hundreds of times over many years.” She told police Teschendorf admitted to her he knew what he was doing was wrong and would ask for her forgiveness but said he “had a sickness and could not stop.”

She said when she told Dyal about the abuse, Dyal said “her brothers and family would have no food” and her mother would be “on welfare” if Teschendorf went to jail. Due to that pressure, the survivor “told the state prosecutor she did not want anything done.”

The survivor later shared more details with police, saying that Teschendorf forced her to do his laundry and iron his clothes and if she did not do the tasks to his standards, he would punish her with sexual abuse. She also told police he threatened her with physical punishment if she would not perform sex acts.

Teschendorf’s court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Paul Dyla, 78, appears before a judge on a charge of capital sexual battery. (WJXT)

Dyal is scheduled to appear in court Monday. His attorney has filed motions to set bonds, citing health concerns of his client. including a history of heart trouble, long-term COVID-19 and that he isn’t getting the medicine he needs while in jail.

At a hearing for Dyal’s motion to reconsider pretrial release, attorneys added a study on the effects of aging on recidivism among federal offenders.

Court records show he had a psychological report or evaluation done as well.

Vernon Williamson appears in court Tuesday. (WJXT)

Another former member of the church – Williamson - is facing five counts based on accusations from three people.

According to the warrant, a woman told police what started as lewd molestation eventually turned into “actual rape.” She told investigators, the warrant states, that Williamson took pictures of her dressed only in a diaper and said he would use the photos against her if she told anyone about the abuse.

When she began having health issues, the warrant states, a woman — who appeared to have worked at the church — took note of the issues and told Dyal’s wife. It resulted in the victim’s brothers being separated and sent to live with other families in the church, but Williamson was permitted to stay at the church. According to the warrant, it wasn’t until another woman reported an incident involving Williamson that Dyal sent him away.

Williamson’s court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 30.

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