Former Poplar Bluff pastor accused of sexual misconduct - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former Poplar Bluff pastor accused of sexual misconduct

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James Hoyt (Source: Dunklin County Courthouse) James Hoyt (Source: Dunklin County Courthouse)
James Hoyt was a pastor at Agee Fellowship in Poplar Bluff for seven years. He resigned seven months ago. James Hoyt was a pastor at Agee Fellowship in Poplar Bluff for seven years. He resigned seven months ago.
MALDEN, MO (KFVS) -

The Dunklin County Prosecutor's office charged a former pastor in Poplar Bluff with two counts of sexual misconduct in the 2nd degree.

According to the probable cause statement, a woman reported to the Malden Police Department that she was walking and was stopped by a white male driving a red vehicle. The woman told police the man asked her for directions to Wal-Mart and as she approached him, she noticed he was fondling himself. The woman also state that it appeared that he had his phone out and pointing it at her as if he was using the camera to record her.

Also in the statement, another woman reported a similar occurrence. She told police that she was in her yard and a white male driving a silver car pulled up in front of her house and asked her if she could give him directions to Wal-Mart. She stated that as she approached the man, she noticed he was fondling himself. The woman described to the man to officers and provided them with a picture she took from her phone as the vehicle drove away.

That picture provided officers with the license plate of the vehicle which indicated that the vehicle belonged to James Hoyt in Poplar Bluff.

Both women identified Mr. Hoyt by picture.

The statement says Mr. Hoyt voluntarily met with authorities. In the meeting, it was explained to him that he was not under arrest. He was made aware of the statements filed against him and was asked to explain his side of the story.

The record shows he was first in denial and the later stated he was in fact at both incidents. He told police he vaguely remembered having an issue with his bladder and that he had just finished urinating in a cup.

James Hoyt appeared in court on Tuesday. His defense asked for a bond reduction, but it was denied by the court.

Hoyt's bond is set at $20,000 cash only.

He is due back in court for a hearing on May 21 at 9 a.m.

This is a statement from Mr. Hoyt's attorney, Jasper Edmundson on Monday:

"James Hoyt will appear in the Circuit Court of Dunklin County on Tuesday, May 14, to face charges filed against him which I understand to be misdemeanor in nature. Neither James nor myself have had the opportunity to see the evidence against him but expect that opportunity will be afforded to us tomorrow. I am unable to say what his position will be when that happens but, expect that, based upon what I know about him, he will face the charges in a forthright manner and will ultimately accept full responsibility for any wrong doing that may have occurred."

James Hoyt was a pastor and served at numerous churches in Poplar Bluff.

He served at Agee Fellowship in Poplar Bluff for seven years. Current pastor Jim Shrimp says Hoyt is responsible for a lot of the progress the church has made in recent years.

"He did a tremendous job for the church," Shrimp said. "The church has moved on since he left."

Shrimp says they are taking a wait and see approach to what happens.

"Everyone has their day in court," Shrimp said. As a church family, we are going to wait and see what happens. Whatever the verdict is, we are going to continue to be supportive."

Shrimp says Hoyt resigned on his own terms seven months ago. He was called in to replace him as interim pastor.

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