An Oklahoma minister who worked at an anti-LGBTQ church faces charges of “lewd and indecent acts” after allegedly molesting a 9-year-old boy at a city bus stop.
Police arrested Michael Coghill, 33, after an incident on September 20. The father of the boy–whose hame has not been released to protect his privacy–claimed his son told him Coghill had previously “touched him on the back and he didn’t like the way it made him feel.” On Sept. 20, the father waited in his car outside the bus stop to see if Coghill would return.
The father saw Coghill “run past the bus stop, stop, come back, and then touch the juvenile” according to Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Dillon Quirk.
Residents in the neighborhood alerted police after seeing the father chase down Coghill and begin beating him to a bloody pulp. The minister suffered a skull fracture and a cracked orbital socket.
Police have asked for any other possible victims of Coghill’s advances to notify law enforcement. “If we have more victims, we encourage them if they know something, say something. Come forward,” Sgt. Quirk said.
Coghill also lost his job at Lakehoma Church in Mustang, Oklahoma following his arrest. Prior to his employment at Lakehoma, Coghill worked at Choctaw Church of Christ, a noted anti-LGBTQ church as a youth minister. While serving there, he worked under Mike Mazzalongo, a homophobe and author of Gay Rights Or Wrongs: A Christian’s Guide to Homosexual Issues and Ministry. In his book, Mazzalongo argued that the legalization of consensual gay sex would lead to legalized child molestation, and that a secret cabal of LGBTQ people is secretly running the world. In his sermons, Mazzalongo had equated pedophilia to homosexuality. Mazzalongo also has a history of racist teachings as well, and had previously blamed abortion on African-Americans.