Rushville Police Department
Harriet Sokmensuer
October 20, 2017 02:26 PM

An Indiana pastor is behind bars for allegedly molesting and sexually abusing young girls he lured to his office with candy following an investigation into his church, PEOPLE confirms.

Garry Evans, 72, was charged with three counts of child molestation, four counts of sexual battery and five counts of child solicitation, according to charging documents obtained by PEOPLE.

In early September, an investigation into Rushville Baptist Temple began after a local mother told authorities she was worried her daughter had been abused by the pastor.

During a police interview, the 3-year-old girl alleged that Evans took her into his office “to get some candy,” but instead pulled his pants down and made her touch his genitals. He then allegedly asked her not to tell anyone.

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Upon hearing about the investigation, several mothers began speaking to their children. Evans has been a pastor at the church for nearly 30 years, FOX59 reports.

Investigators spoke to four more girls who also alleged they were touched by Evans, the charging documents state. According to the alleged victims, Evans allegedly gave children candy when they came to his office before the abuse.

One pair of sisters, 5 and 7 years old, had similar allegations involving Evans.

The 5-year-old alleged Evans put his hand down her pants while they were in his office, the charging documents state.

Her 7-year-old sister alleged that the pastor touched her “nearly every time she went to church.”

The 7-year-old said the first time Evans’ allegedly put his hand down her pants was when she went to his office for candy. One time, the girl alleged, Evans grabbed her hand and put it down his pants. When she said, “No,” he laughed, she alleged.

Evans remains behind bars in Rushville County Jail. It was not clear if he has entered a plea. Evans’ attorney, John Worth, could not be reached for comment Friday.

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