ELYRIA — A prominent Westlake pastor has been indicted on multiple counts of molesting a child as far back as 2005.
Paul Endrei, 53, who lives in Avon, has been indicted on two counts of sexual battery and four counts of gross sexual imposition by a Lorain County grand jury.
Endrei is the pastor of Church on the Rise, a Christian church in Westlake which is called, “a church for the whole family,” according to its website.
The indictment states the molestation dates back to 2005 when Endrei allegedly had sexual contact with a child under 13 years old. The molestation also occurred in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2013, according to the indictment.
He also is accused of having sexual relations with the girl in 2010 while he was in a position of authority over her, according to the indictment.
Endrei was arrested and taken to Lorain County Jail on Thursday and held until he was released on bond a short time later.
County Prosecutor Dennis Will said the investigation began when the victim came forward to Avon police.
The Church on the Rise released a statement to WKYC-Channel 3 regarding Endrei’s indictment.
“The Church on the Rise of Westlake is aware of the recent indictment by Lorain County of Pastor Paul Endrei. We pray for Pastor Paul, his wife and 5 children,” the statement said.
The church said it was aware the allegations came from a child familiar to Endrei.
“We pray that this troubled adolescent receive the help and counseling she needs,” the statement said. “The Church believes in our legal system and that the truth will come out.”
The church requested privacy for Endrei and its members.
“Pastor Paul maintains his presumption of innocence and hope that all reserve judgment until all facts are properly aired in a court of law,” the statement said. “We not only have faith in our lord but also in our system of justice. Only after both sides present their case can a judgment be made in this very serious matter. We thank all members of the church and community for their prayers and continued support.”