Jeriah Mast, 37, of Millersburg, Ohio, has been formally charged with sexually abusing Amish and Mennonite youths in Ohio. A grand jury in Holmes County, Ohio, indicted Mast on Monday.
Mast, who worked for Christian Aid Ministries, based in Millersburg, Ohio, with a distribution center in Ephrata, was charged with more than a dozen sex crimes. He turned himself in to authorities Tuesday evening and is being held on a $250,000 bond.
Mast’s alleged abuse of five boys, dates back more than 15 years. The abuse allegations range from September 1999 to September 2008, according to the indictment.
Mast also has been charged with molesting youths in Haiti where he served as a missionary. On May 5, he fled Haiti and returned to his home in Holmes County, Ohio, after being confronted with allegations that he had sexually abused youths in the country. Upon his return, he confessed to leaders of Christian Aid Ministries and was fired. He then told police he had molested youths in Ohio years before.
Cases involving Haitian youths are being handled by federal authorities.
Last month, Christian Aid Ministries placed officials Paul and Eli Weaver on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into what they knew regarding the allegations against Mast. Both are said to have been informed of Mast’s past actions in 2013 but allowed him to continue to work with Christian Aid Ministries.
The organization’s board of directors stated that it was unaware of any sexual conduct between Mast and minors until this year.
Holmes County Prosecutor Sean Warner was unavailable for comment at presstime.