Accused pastor may not attend hearing on sex charges

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Apr. 30, 2018 at 8:15 PM CDT
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In a unique request, the attorney for a minister charged with sexual abuse doesn’t want his client to attend a hearing to determine if charges will be dropped.

Williams Wesley “Wes” Williamson, 28, was arrested in March on three felonies involving the alleged molestation of two boys under the age of 12 at a church camp last summer.

On Friday, he has a preliminary hearing scheduled to determine if there is sufficient evidence to send the case to a grand jury or if charges will be dismissed.

However, defense attorney Thomas Smith doesn’t want Williamson in the courtroom during the hearing and recently filed a motion asking his appearance to be waived. He didn’t give a reason.

The hearing could give insight into the charges against Williamson, Pastor to Children at Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Taylor, Alabama, until his arrest.

Though accused of sexual abuse, arrest warrants only indicate that he “brushed” his hand against clothing in the genital area of the victims. No specific sex act is alleged.

Following Williamson’s arrest, Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said two other children made similar allegations, but no charges have been filed in those cases that presumably remain under investigation.

Houston County District Judge Benjamin Lewis has yet to rule on the motion to waive Williamson’s appearance.

Williamson, who has seven children, is also represented by Dothan attorney Shaun McGhee.