Church Bus Driver Accused of Child Rape Allegedly Asked 10-Year-Olds to Play Truth or Dare

Edwin Burgess is accused of child rape and aggravated sexual battery

A Tennessee church bus driver accused of child rape allegedly asked a pair of 10-year-olds to play the game truth or dare, according to multiple reports.

Edwin Burgess, 54, of Covington, was arrested last Wednesday on charges of rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery and was being held in the Tipton County Jail as of June 29, a Covington police press release states.

Police documents obtained by WREG allege Burgess, an employee of Central Christian Church in Covington, began raping one of the 10-year-olds around New Year’s of 2017 and that the last rape took place June 18 after church.

The documents allege that one of the 10-year-olds Burgess asked to play truth or dare said Burgess “dared her to ride home on the bus naked,” Fox13 Memphis reports.

According to the documents, the girl replied that her mom wouldn’t like that. Burgess allegedly responded that nobody would see because the windows of the bus were dark.

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Tipton County Sheriff's Office

Fox13 reports that the allegations came to light when a 9-year-old friend of one of the alleged victims told her mother “I need to tell you something” after speaking with her friend. Her mother then called police.

Covington Police Chief Buddy Lewis said in the press release, “This investigation involves sensitive information and may be involving other victims. Our priority is the safety and well-being of the children involved.”

The Covington Leader reports Burgess worked at Central Christian Church in Covington. PEOPLE’s calls to the church were not immediately returned.

A spokesperson from the Tipton County Sheriff’s office tells PEOPLE that Burgess is being held with no bond, and that his preliminary court date was set for July 14.

Burgess’ attorney, Jere Mason, sent the following statement to WREG:

“Edwin Burgess was extremely surprised and deeply saddened to learn of these charges being levied against him. He strongly maintains his innocence and plans to vigorously fight these charges in a court of law. Due to the type of charges levied against him it is hard for the public to remember that Edwin is innocent unless proven guilty.

“In today’s day and age with the advent of social media a person charged with these crimes is often convicted in the court of public opinion before all the facts of the case are brought to light. The attorneys of Gray Huffman Butler stand ready to seek justice for Edwin in this difficult time.”

It was not immediately clear if Burgess has entered a plea.

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