Hamilton Police have arrested and charged a 33-year-old Cambridge pastor with multiple counts of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference after several victims came forward during a police investigation last month.
Police arrested Avenue Road Baptist Church youth pastor Lucas Jervis on Feb. 1, charging him with four counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual exploitation and sexual interference.
Hamilton Police opened an investigation after reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment surfaced on social media.
In a press release last Friday, police said several victims came forward during the investigation.
On the church website, Jervis is listed as a team member who is currently on a “leave of absence.”
Sermon videos with Jervis in them have been removed from the church website and YouTube channel.
The church’s Facebook page and Instagram accounts are also no longer active.
Jervis’ personal social media accounts have either been scrubbed or made private.
Hamilton Police is encouraging anyone who believes that they may have been a victim of sexual violence, to come forward and report the incident to police.
There is no statute of limitations for sexual offences, and offenders can be prosecuted well after the date of the offence. If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can report the incident by contacting the Sexual Assault Unit non-emergency line at 905-540-5553, or by filing a report online www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca.
Hamilton Police understand that while sexual assaults often cause long-lasting trauma, survivors may have difficulty speaking about the incidents with friends, family members, or police officers. If someone is not ready to report; however, is seeking support please contact Hamilton Police Victim Services at 905-546-4904.
To provide information anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your anonymous tips online at http://www.crimestoppershamiIton.com.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent sexual assault. Sharing the details of these assaults is intended to provide the community information, and people are encouraged to trust their instincts. For confidential support, please call the Sexual Assault Centre’s 24-hour support line at 905-525-4162 or connect at www.sacha.ca, or the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre at www.hhsc.ca/sadv.