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Fallen Pastor Charged With Sex Offense

A former Southern Baptist pastor and denominational leader caught in a male prostitution police sting has been formally charged, according to an Oklahoma newspaper report.

According to the Tulsa World, Lonnie Latham, former pastor of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />South Tulsa Baptist Church, was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor count of offering to engage in an act of lewdness.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
 
“The law in Oklahoma prohibits an individual from soliciting another to engage in what is considered a lewd act, regardless of whether money is sought for or exchanged,” Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane said in a statement.
 
“In this case, that is exactly what Mr. Latham is alleged to have done. To his misfortune, that individual was an Oklahoma City police officer.”
 
Conviction of the charge can lead to 30 days to a year in jail, and/or a $2,500 fine and 40 to 80 hours of community service.
 
Latham, 60, has resigned from South Tulsa Baptist and notified the Southern Baptist Convention that he was resigning from its Executive Committee.