MORE VICTIMS ACCUSE GASTON COUNTY YOUTH PASTOR OF SEX CRIMES. Nicholas Martin is accused of sex crimes while serving at North Belmont Church of God
January 28, 2020
GASTONIA, N.C. — Prosecutors announced plans to file more charges against a Gaston County youth pastor who's accused of illegal sex acts with children.
Nicholas Martin served as an associate pastor at North Belmont Church of God prior to his October arrest.
During a Tuesday morning court hearing, Martin's attorney, Michael Neece, asked a judge to lower Martin's $1.01 million bond to $25,000.
In response, Assistant District Attorney Debbie Gulledge revealed since Martin's initial arrest, another victim has come forward. Investigators still plan to interview at least one more victim in the case.
Gulledge accused Martin of abusing his power as a youth pastor.
"These children visited the defendant's home daily because their parents thought that he was someone they could trust,” Gulledge said. “However, unbeknownst to them, he was engaged in sexual acts with these children."
Judge David Phillips ordered Martin's bond kept at $1.01 million while he reviews the case.
He said if Martin made his bond, he must wear a GPS monitoring device and have no contact with the victims.
Martin's attorney Michael Neece argued based on his client's lack of a criminal record, his bond should be reduced from more than a million dollars to $25,000.
"If it makes this court feel better, putting him on a GPS monitor, know where he's at, so that way he will show the state and this court that he's not going to have any contact [with witnesses] or be in any problems,” Neece said.
According to arrest warrants, Martin exposed his private parts on public property at the North Belmont Church of God. It's unclear when this particular incident happened, but it's probable that it happened on or around October 7, 2018.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.
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