A westside Athens church reportedly barred an accused sex trafficker of minors on Sunday just days after the man bonded out of jail.
According to an article by Joe Johnson at the Athens Banner-Herald, a director for Athens Church on Huntington Road told police he did not want Jennings B. Summerour, 66-years-old, on the church’s property because the church has a large youth population. The director explained further that the church just did not feel comfortable with Summerour being there.
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“According to police, church officials read a recent story in the Athens Banner-Herald about Summerour being arrested as part of Operation Cross Country, a nationwide crackdown on the sex trafficking of minors,” the article in the ABH reads. “The operation was an initiative of the FBI, in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.”
Summerour was just one of five men who were arrested in Athens on Oct. 15. Those five men were among 239 alleged sex traffickers and associates who were arrested across the U.S. as part of Operation Cross County.
“The offenders arrested in Athens were charged under state law with trafficking in persons for sexual servitude, but their cases are expected to be transferred to federal court for prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice,” the article reads. “Summerour was released from the Clarke County Jail on Friday, two days before he was seen at Athens Church and subsequently barred.”
The church director barred Summerour verbally in the presence of a police officer, who told the ABH that Summerour understood the reason for the barring. The officer also filled out a criminal trespass warning form.