Pastor Cornelius Tilton Charged with Sexually Assaulting Student on Flight (Dec. 2019)
(Link): Pastor Cornelius Tilton Charged with Sexually Assaulting Student on Flight (Dec. 2019)
The head of a Louisiana Bible college sexually assaulted a teen theological seminary student on a flight from Israel to New Jersey over the weekend, according to federal prosecutors.
Cornelius Tilton, 65 — who has been at the helm of the Irish Channel Christian Fellowship church since 1988 and serves as the general president of Christian Bible College of Louisiana — was seated next to a 19-year-old man on a flight from Tel Aviv to Newark Liberty International Airport, prosecutors said in a statement.
The teen was with a group of students on a religious trip to Israel, and Tilton accompanied them as an official guide, giving speeches.
At some point during the flight, Tilton placed his hand on the victim’s bare calf, then his thigh, and eventually began rubbing the student’s genitals over his shorts, prosecutors said.
The victim got up to go to the bathroom in hopes of ending the assault — but Tilton allegedly went to the restroom as well.
When both were back in their seats, Tilton allegedly touched the teen’s lower back under his clothing. Then he attempted to stick his hand down the front of the victim’s pants — but the victim blocked him, prosecutors said.
The teen then got up to inform a flight attendant.
The pastor was arrested when the flight arrived in Newark Saturday, and charged with one count of abusive sexual contact.
Tilton, a New Orleans native, could face up to two years behind bars, a $250,000 fine or both if convicted.