Assistant minister at Austin church charged with sexual assault of girl

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Alfonzo Carter | Chicago Police

An assistant minister at an Austin church has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage member of his congregation, after the girl’s grandmother told authorities she found the 45-year-old man hiding in the 16-year-old’s bedroom closet.

Alfonzo Carter had baptized the alleged victim and taught several classes she took at Greater First Baptist Missionary Baptist Church, but he eventually began offering to teach the teenager about sex, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Jacqueline Marquardt said at a bond hearing Wednesday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Carter, who appeared in court wearing a yellow T-shirt over black shorts, was silent during the brief hearing. His lawyer, Jeffry Mandell, said the father of eight children was prepared to fight the charges.

Carter had been counseling the victim about problems she was having at school, Marquardt said. At the end of her counseling sessions, Marquardt said, Carter would hug the girl and touch her thighs. Carter began calling and texting the girl, and first the conversations were normal, but Carter eventually asked if the girl was sexually active, Marquardt said.

“When (she) told (Carter) that she was not, (Carter) asked if could teach her how to have sex,” Marquardt said. The teen said “yes.”

Carter allegedly drove to the girl’s house, where she was staying with her grandmother at 3 a.m. on April 20, and picked the girl up in the alley behind the house, Marquardt said. He drove a few houses down, and allegedly undressed the girl as they sat in the back seat. Carter and the girl had sex, briefly, and Carter drove her back to her grandmother’s, Marquardt said.

The following week, Carter and the girl talked on the phone, and exchanged messages via text and Facebook, with Carter allegedly requesting oral sex and “sexual photos” from the teen, which the girl refused. Carter asked the girl to delete the messages, and she did, Marquardt said.

Carter returned to the house April 27 for another 3 a.m. rendezvous, during which they again had sex, Marquardt said. The next week, Carter arranged to go to the grandmother’s house to have sex again, but wanted to come by at 6 p.m. The girl let Carter in though a back door and the pair went to her bedroom, Marquardt said.

The girl’s grandmother grew suspicious and went upstairs to check on her granddaughter, turning on the bedroom lights and then discovering Carter in the girl’s closet. The teen ran out of the house, while Carter tried to explain his presence to the girl’s grandmother and mother. The women rejected his explanations, and he left the house. When the girl came home, she admitted to the sexual encounters with the minister, Marquardt said.

Carter posted his $25,000 bond, but he will remain on electronic monitoring.

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