Reaction: Bullock Co. Deacon Arrested on Sex Charges


By Jessica Gertler

From the CBS 8 Troy Newsroom--- CBS 8 News broke the story last night. A church deacon from Bullock County is in jail on sodomy and sex abuse charges. It's news that's left his church community in shock.

The affidavit released by the U.S. Attorney's Office says 59-year-old Larry Jones was arrested on sex charges. After further investigation, CBS 8 News has learned he's a deacon at Liberty Baptist Church in Bullock County, and that has community members in utter disbelief.

Jones was arrested in Shelby County after U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents say he drove there to meet with what he thought was a 14-year-old boy for sex.

Jones, who is a longtime Bullock County resident, a Bonnie Plants employee and a church deacon at Liberty Baptist, could face sodomy and sexual abuse charges.

Pastor Ronald Earles says he wouldn't have expected this behavior from Jones.

"I have known Larry for 30 to 40 years. Most of the people around here have known him all of their life, and this is just not something that any of us have ever seen," he says.

According to the affidavit, on May 29 an undercover agent responded to Jones' Internet post that stated "older white for younger white."

The conversation becomes so graphic, the only part we can show is in the beginning where Jones allegedly asks, "Ever been with a guy?"

The undercover agent says he also received nude photos from Jones.

But it wasn't until last weekend when arrangements were made to meet in Shelby County. That's when Jones was arrested.

"A man with a man is immoral, and especially with a child. He ought to be punished by God's full extent of the law," says resident Hershel Mcalpine.

"If it's true, I'm glad it has been exposed, because truly we would not want a person like this in our community or in our churches," says resident Catherine Baldwin.

While Pastor Earles doesn't condone Jones' alleged actions, he says he and his congregation are following the church's principles.

"We have to stand behind him and support him and try to help him in any way we can," says Earles.

CBS 8 did try contacting Jone's family, but they say they have no comment at this time.

Officials say Jones is currently in jail on a $50,000 bond

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