Illinois minister accused of molesting boy for six years, beginning when child was 8

A Chicago-area minister was arrested Thursday on charges of molesting a boy for six years, beginning when the boy was eight years old.


According to the Chicago Tribune, 57-year-old Rev. John Hays was taken into custody by Chicago police and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Hays is the director of congregations life of the First Presbyterian Church of River Forest.

Chicago Police Department spokesperson Officer Ana Pacheco said that Hays is accused of molesting the boy from February 2003 to February of 2009, beginning when the boy was eight. Hays' accuser, now 19, filed charges against the minister in May.

The victim was reportedly a friend of Hays' family and a congregant at his church. He told authorities that Hays repeatedly molested him in the minister's residence, which is located down the street from where the boy grew up.

Hays is scheduled for a Bond hearing on Friday.

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