Cornelius Tilton, married pastor and president of Christian Bible College of Louisiana, has been charged with sexually assaulting a male student on an airplane, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday.
Tilton, who is 65 years old and married, was reportedly accompanying a group of students on a religious trip to Israel. The 19-year-old alleged victim said that Tilton began caressing him, first on his calf and then eventually on his genitals. The student reportedly did not react or look at Tilton out of "shock and fear." Tilton then allegedly placed the student's hand on his own genitals.
The college president is a father to four children and has eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter. According to Christian Bible College of Louisiana's website, Tilton has held a wide range of ministry positions in his career:
In addition to his busy pastorate, "P.T.", as he is lovingly called by his youth and many members, has also served his community in various capacities: Past President of the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans Pastors Conference, Past President of Dillard University Alumni Association-New Orleans Chapter, Past President, Treasurer, and Interim Director of the New Orleans Mission, former General Director and Worship Leader for the Christian Minister's' Union City Wide Revival, a former trustee of New Orleans General Hospital, former Volunteer Administrator and In-Prison Seminar Instructor for Prison Fellowship Ministries, USA, and past President of the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. He is treasurer and past Chairman of the Greater New Orleans Federation of Churches. Pastor Tilton has served on the Irish Channel Interim Zoning District Demolition and Construction Review Committee and was appointed by Mayor Nagin in December of 2006 to the city's Ethics Review Board where he was elected Vice Chair, which in June 2007 hired New Orleans' first Inspector General and later served as its Chair. He is a former member of Board of Trustees and Administrative Committee Chairman of the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans, a trustee of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation, and a strategy team leader of the Greater New Orleans Pastors' Coalition. Dr. Tilton served on the board of Audubon Charter School for 8 years, including 4 years as Chair. He is General President and an instructor in Leadership Development at Christian Bible College of Louisiana of Louisiana. He is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and National Baptist Convention of America.
If convicted of the charges, Tilton may face up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.