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baltimoresun.com

Bel Air youth pastor charged with sexual abuse

BY KAYLA BAWROSKI, kabawroski@theaegis.com

4:30 PM EDT, August 30, 2012

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A Bel Air youth pastor was terminated from his position after being charged with the sexual abuse of a minor.

Walter Harrison Yocum, 35, of the 3200 block of Ady Road in Street, was charged Aug. 23 with third- and fourth-degree sexual offense, sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree assault.

The incident dates to a week in mid-July, during Vacation Bible School at Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air, where Yocum is a youth pastor, according to charging documents.

On Aug. 21, a 16-year-old girl came to the Child Advocacy Center and in a forensic interview, told interviewers she was approached by Yocum at VBS earlier this summer, according to charging documents.

The girl, who said she was 15 years old at the time, said Yocum asked her to meet him in the old sound room and while there, he allegedly touched her inappropriately.

Calvary Baptist Church issued a statement on its website on Aug. 19, which reported that three days earlier Yocum told Senior Pastor Ralph Green he had been "having an inappropriate relationship with someone other than his wife."

Green then suspended Yocum without pay pending further investigation, but after learning it allegedly involved a minor, terminated Yocum's employment effective immediately, according to the church statement.

The statement did not include any additional details on the alleged incident, but in it Green wrote the behavior would not be tolerated and will "follow through with any additional steps that are legally necessary to ensure that justice is served."

Yocum was scheduled for a bail review hearing Tuesday afternoon, but opted to waive it. As of Thursday afternoon, he was being held at the Harford County Detention Center on $100,000 bail.