Elizabethtown, PA, youth pastor pleads not guilty in fake kidnapping
On November 16, 2012 At 9:15 am
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Pastor Andrew Jordan was arrested this past July and charged with false imprisonment and simple assault stemming from a mock kidnapping in March that was intended to be a lesson in religious persecution.
Jordan has plead not guilty to the charges, which include allegations that interrogation and staged torture also took place. The church has also denied the allegations.
Jordan, 28, was the youth pastor of Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church, near Middletown. He has waived an appearance Thursday at an arraignment in the Dauphin County Court.
According to a grand jury report, some teenagers who were attending a youth group meeting at the church when someone turned off the lights. Then, men with weapons and flashlights ordered the teens to the floor, then bound their wrists and put pillow cases over their heads.
The they were hastily put in a van and driven around the neighborhood before being put into a basement without any windows. It was in that basement where the interrogation and simulated torture of Pastor Jordan took place.
The complaint was filed by the mother of one of the teenagers, who was not a member of the church. The young girl was fourteen years old.
Local news outlets reported that Attorney William A. DeStefano stated that the mock raid was intended to show the dangerous scenarios Christians can face on missionary trips, and that previous, similar lessons have been held by the church.