Fresno Pastor Maintains His Innocence

KFSN 1/16/2008 The pastor has maintained his innocence all along, and Tuesday he denied any inappropriate behavior. He spent an hour on the stand trying to convince the jury he's innocent.

Pastor Charles Dickerson was sworn in and took the stand Tuesday afternoon. To defend himself against claims he molested two teenage girls. To protect their identities the girls are being referred to as Jane Doe one and two.

The senior pastor at Pearly Grove Baptist Church in Southwest Fresno also denied molesting a teenage boy who said the pastor performed sexual acts with him in Washington back in 2000. Dickerson did admit he's hit his wife who testified so earlier in the trial, but said he never beat her.

The accusers claimed the pastor molested them over an eight year period. Dickerson's lawyer says the girls have since recanted their story. Dickerson testified Tuesday he didn't coerce or bribe them to change their story.

The prosecution also called a psychology expert who said victims often change their stories. The prosecution maintains Dickerson has a history of inappropriate behavior, although he has never been convicted.

Lawyers say testimony will likely wrap up and go to closing arguments by Thursday.

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