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Ex-Pastor In Court On Child Sex Charges

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Stock image of church, (Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Stock image of church, (Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — A former fugitive pastor chatted in a Henderson courtroom with police officers and a deputy public defender Tuesday while awaiting a brief hearing following his return in custody from Mexico on multiple child sex assault charges.

Otis Holland, 55, who led a storefront congregation, later stood in a red jail jumpsuit and shackles and told Justice of the Peace David Gibson Sr. he didn’t mind waiting until March 21 for an evidence hearing in his case.

Holland faces sexual assault with a minor under 16, sexual assault with a minor under 14, lewdness, child abuse and conspiracy to destroy evidence charges that could land him in prison for the rest of his life if he is convicted.

The judge ordered Holl and to remain at the Henderson city jail until prosecutors and his lawyers submit written bail requests.

Deputy Public Defender Harmony Letizia said Holland will be represented by a different public defender at the evidence hearing. Letizia did not immediately respond to messages later.

Holland, known as Reverend Otis to members of his United FaithC hurch congregation, was arrested Jan. 25 in Tijuana,Mexico, after a bail bonds company posted $30,000 to get him out of jail about a year ago.

Henderson police arrested Holland in December 2010 and January 2011 after investigating allegations that he abused girls as young as 7 under the guise of counseling.

Police also allege thatHollandshared a ship cabin with a teenager and her younger sister during a cruise vacation alone with them in August 2010, and that he bought diamond jewelry and clothes for the teenage girl he was accused of sexually assaulting.

The girl also told police that Holland took her to a man inLas Vegas who gave her monthly birth control injections.

Holland, according to authorities, told the girls that if anyone found out what was going on, he would be sent to prison and the church would break up.

The conspiracy to destroy evidence charge stems from allegations that Holland instructed the teenager’s mother and her ex-husband to destroy computer hard drive discs, sex toys and paperwork for church counseling sessions, according to a police arrest report.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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