TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A man facing federal charges for trafficking children for sex waived his right to a preliminary hearing in court Thursday morning.
Cordell Jenkins, a pastor at Toledo's Abundant Life Ministries, is one of two men charged in the case. He, along with Anthony Haynes, are accused of exploiting minors for the last three years – dating back to when one of the juveniles was only 14 years old.
The affidavit also accuses Haynes and another woman of engaging in sexual acts on multiple occasions with a female teenager. The teen was paid what Haynes referred to as "hush money."
According to the FBI investigation, both men engaged in sexual activity with several juveniles across the city of Toledo.
On Thursday, many people, including Jenkins' wife, were in the courtroom to show him their support. During the hearing, Jenkins waived his right to a preliminary hearing, meaning he will remain in jail.
Also in the courtroom was Elesandra DeRamano, who is helping to support the alleged victims.
"This is an atrocity. This is sick. This is sadistic and no child should have to live with that," said DeRamano. "My impression is that he is sick, He is a sick person to do this, and I also feel bad for the members of his congregation because they are raising money for him, for what they are, victims too."
Jenkins's attorney said she needed more time to prepare for the meeting to determine if Jenkins will have the chance to be released from jail while awaiting his trial.
"Both of them are good pastors, nobody pointing fingers ," said Pastor Chris Arnett of House of Praise Ministry. "Like I said, we are all in this with God's help and grace and mercy. And God say, 'Where there is strength there is unity.' So we got to come together and work together and help everybody out."
Haynes was originally scheduled for a federal court hearing Thursday, but his was canceled Wednesday. No word on when he'll be back in court.