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Fresno pastor arrested after sex allegations

By Marc Benjamin
The Fresno Bee

(Published Wednesday, October 16, 2002, 4:50 AM)

A southwest Fresno pastor has been arrested on suspicion he had a four-year sexual relationship with a teenage boy nearly 20 years ago, Fresno police confirmed Monday.

Calvin Eugene Moore, 45, a pastor at King Solomon Baptist Church, was arrested for an alleged sexual relationship he had with the boy, police said. Moore remains in the Fresno County Jail in lieu of $550,000 bail.

Moore is a supervising juvenile corrections officer at Fresno County Juvenile Hall, said Probation Chief Larry Price. Moore has been placed on paid administrative leave.

He is scheduled to be arraigned today.

Jonathan Stewart, 33, came forward about the alleged relationship during the summer, and police have been investigating the case the past few months.

Moore was arrested "on multiple counts of sexual misconduct," Fresno police Sgt. Herman Silva said Monday.

Moore's arrest stems from his activities as a youth pastor between 1982 and 1986 at St. Rest Baptist Church, said Stewart's attorney, Laura Guzman Magill, in Fresno. She said a lawsuit against Moore will be filed.

St. Rest church officials did not return telephone calls Monday. King Solomon officials referred calls to a pastor, who could not be reached to comment.

Moore has been pastor at the King Solomon Baptist Church for less than two years, friends said.

Stewart returned to Fresno earlier this year and has been working as a caterer with his sister, Guzman Magill said.

"He met Calvin Moore at some marriage conference [earlier in the year] where my client was serving water and meals," she said. "My client was cordial and then left the room with a panic attack, broke into tears and couldn't breathe."

Guzman Magill said Stewart decided to come forward after he returned to Fresno.

"It was weighing on his mind ... after being gone several years, that's when it started hitting him," she said. "It was not a repressed memory case. The pastor told him this is how God wanted him to show Jonathan his love."

Guzman Magill said Moore would drive to Stewart's school, Kastner Intermediate in northeast Fresno, and take him to an area near Woodward Park.

"Even now he has been harassed verbally about this," Guzman Magill said. "My client went through drug addiction and this completely destroyed his manhood at a time in his life when he is finding out who he is as a man. This man took that away."

Juanita Burnett, who is in the King Solomon Baptist Church choir, described Moore as a "dynamic minister and musician." She said she frequently works with Moore at weddings, funerals and concerts.

"He is a good man, a good Christian," said Burnett, who has known Moore for 20 years. "This molestation charge shocks me ... for me to speak on the man, I can't say anything negative."

The reporter can be reached at mbenjamin@fresnobee.com or 441-6166.

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