Missouri youth group leader charged with sex crimes

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MARSHFIELD, Mo. (AP/Springfield News-Leader) — A Missouri youth group leader has been charged with raping one girl and exchanging nude photos with two others.

MARSHFIELD, Mo. – A 20-year-old youth leader at a Baptist church in Marshfield has been charged with six counts of sexual offenses against girls in his youth group.

Benjamin S. Blake of Rogersville is free on $20,000 bond after he was charged this week with one count of rape, two counts of child molestation and three counts of sexual misconduct involving a child under 15, according to online court records.

Probable cause statements filed in connection with the case state that Blake developed relationships with the girls and communicated with them through online platforms, flirting and sending photos of his genitals and asking them to respond with explicit photos of themselves.

Court documents state that the girls told investigators he sexually assaulted them on numerous occasions.. 

Blake is scheduled for a hearing before a judge in Webster County on March 10, 2020, according to online court records.

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