Ohio pastor serving life sentence for trafficking teen girl requests release over fear of COVID-19

by Joel Abbott · Dec 16th, 2020 2:14 pm

Last Updated Dec 18th, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Anthony Haynes –a former Toledo pastor sentenced to life in prison for trafficking a teenage girl and grooming her for sex – filed two handwritten motions for compassionate release over his fear of COVID-19.

The 41-year-old Haynes was convicted in 2017 alongside two other area pastors for the repeated sexual assault and trafficking of a teenage girl from 2014 to 2017. The victim – Taniece Temple – was reportedly 14 when the rapes began, with the assaults occurring at Haynes'z church, local hotels, and the pastors' homes.

Haynes allegedly paid Temple for the sexual acts and exploited another underage girl in in March 2017.

Haynes's wife Alisa Haynes and his stepdaughter Alexis Fortune were also convicted for kidnapping and reportedly choking and putting a gun to the victim's head. Both attempted to intimidate the victim into not testifying.

In his motions for release, Haynes cited multiple medical conditions that made him more vulnerable to complications with COVID-19, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and diverticulitis.

He also cited his 80-year-old mother's health.

"I need to see my family again not in a casket but alive," he said. "My mother is old and getting older and I want to be by her side. She has been sick for a while and I just want the chance to live with her again before the Lord calls her home."

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman – who sentenced Haynes to life and called his actions "disgusting" – will be the one to make a decision on the motions early next year.

Friedman granted compassionate release to Fortune last Thursday, believing her lack of a previous record and her two years of imprisonment at a high security prison were enough to justify her release to house arrest. Fortune was originally sentenced to four years.

Federal prosecutors responded on Friday, urging that Fortune remain in prison.

"As a result of her callous crime, no signs of personal development and change on the record, and her own admission that the sentencing factors do not weigh in her favor, the government is convinced that Ms. Fortune still poses a danger to the community," they said.


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