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Youth Minister Accused of Sexual Abuse

McCullum charged in Arlington and Fairfax Counties

A former youth minister at a south Arlington church was arrested by Arlington police on Friday, Nov. 5 and charged with sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Antawn McCullum, 29, also faces charges from Fairfax County Police — one count of forcible sodomy and one count of taking "indecent liberties with a custodial child," a class 6 felony. McCullum worked at the Macedonia Baptist Church, according to police reports.

Repeated requests for an interview with church officials Monday went unanswered.

The charges in Arlington stem from an alleged incident in 2002 that was only reported to police this year. McCullum was no longer working at the church at the time he was arrested.

"We didn't find out about this accusation until recently and when we did, we began investigating immediately," said Matt Martin, Arlington police department spokesman.

Detectives working the case believe other children may have been abused, but as of Monday, Martin said no new victims had come forward with information about McCullum.

IF CONVICTED, MCCULLUM faces a minimum of five years in prison. He could also get a life sentence.

McCullum is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility and is expected to appear in court this week. Commonwealth's Attorney Richard Trodden declined to comment on the case or the evidence against McCullum.

"We don't want to do anything that might infringe on the defendant's right to a fair trial," Trodden said.

Bud Walker, Fairfax County Police spokesman, declined to comment on whether McCullum will be extradited to stand trial there.

The two jurisdictions are "working together on the case, according to a release from Arlington Police Det. John Ritter.

Detectives believe McCullum may have abused additional children. Anyone with information about McCullum, especially information about his contact with children, should call Det. Diane Guenther at 703-228-4243.

<1b>— By Stefan Cornibert