Okla jury convicts ex-pastor of domestic abuse

Okemah, Oklahoma (AP) November 2010

A Weleetka minister accused of molesting five young church members has been acquitted of lewd molestation but convicted of domestic abuse.

An Okfuskee County jury found Marvin Lowe guilty on six misdemeanor domestic abuse counts. Lowe will be formally sentenced Dec. 2.

Lowe had been a pastor at Arbeka Indian Baptist Church.

Defense attorney Dennis Seacat told The Oklahoman the allegations stemmed from one family, originating with a young girl telling another about Lowe touching her. Seacat said there was never any evidence that Lowe molested the children, although he did pinch, tickle and touch the girls.

Lowe was charged about six months after the 2008 deaths of 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker and 13-year-old Taylor Placker in Weleetka.

Seacat says uneasiness in the small community likely played a role in the accusations against Lowe.