BOSTON (AP) — The leader of a Boston church who was once considered a mentor and role model for children has been arraigned on allegations that he sexually assaulted three teenage boys more than 15 years ago.
George Swain, 71, a bishop at the Greater Victory Temple church in the city’s Mattapan section, was held on $75,000 bail at his arraignment Monday. Not guilty pleas to rape of a child and indecent assault and battery were entered on his behalf.
Swain attended the virtual hearing from the hospital where he is being treated for a medical issue.
One victim was 8 years old when the alleged assaults started in 1997, and continued until 2004, prosecutor Audrey Mark said in court.
The second alleged victim was assaulted between the ages of 13 and 16 from 2001 until 2004, while the third teen was assaulted between the ages of 13 and 16 starting in 1997, Mark said.
“They were encouraged by their families to spend time in the church because he was seen as a role model,” Mark said.
Swain’s attorney, Lauren Greenberg, said outside of court that her client denies the allegations. Swain’s health puts him at risk of developing COVID-19 if he is jailed, she said.
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