Covington church employee charged with child rape

Covington church employee charged with child rape
Published: Jun. 29, 2017 at 1:43 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2017 at 4:39 PM CDT
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COVINGTON, TN (WMC) - A church employee in Covington is in jail accused of aggravated sexual battery and rape of a child.

Covington Police Department arrested Edwin Burgess, 54, on the recommendation of the Department of Children's Services and the Carl Perkins Center for Prevention of Child Abuse. Burgess drove a van for Central Christian Church in Covington.

Investigators said a 9-year-old girl told her mother a story that one of her friends told her about Burgess. The mother reported it to police, and then police uncovered explicit details that caused them to obtain an arrest warrant for Burgess.

"This investigation involves sensitive information and may be involving other victims. Our priority is the safety and well-being of the children involved. We will continue this investigation as we seek the possibility of other victims," Covington Police Department Chief C. D. "Buddy" Lewis said.

The details of the case are so graphic, we are not writing them in this story. However, because police believe there may be more victims, we have redacted the police report and posted it here for parents who are concerned their child may be a victim.

WMC Action News 5 investigators caught up with Burgess' wife Thursday. She said she's waiting to hear the facts in the case.

"The evidence--him being accused--so that's all he's being accused. So until there's further evidence," Tracy Burgess said.

Rob Witherington lives near Central Christian Church. He said he doesn't believe anyone at the church knew anything like this was going on.

"I think if they did know they would've been the first ones to report it," Witherington said.

The church's pastor is out of town and could not be reached to comment on Burgess' arrest.

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