CRESCENT — A pastor charged with sexually abusing children said his congregation is supporting him and he has no plans to leave the church. Edwin House, 71, was charged last week in Logan County District Court with five counts of lewd molestation. House and his wife, Lovenia, 64, ran a foster home for 25 years. She is charged with child neglect. Both were arrested at home Dec. 30 and were released on bail Dec. 31. Edwin House is accused of sexually abusing two 14-year-old girls in his home. Lovenia House is accused of not doing enough to protect the children. One of the girls attempted suicide in July by overdosing on pills, court affidavits state. She told counselors she was molested by Edwin House and was depressed. She said the abuse started when she was 7, with the latest incident occurring when she was 9. She told investigators Edwin House laid on top of her while she was sleeping and put his hand down her shirt. He also put his hands on her chest while she was in his car, she reported. The girl was removed from the home and taken into protective custody, court records show. Lovenia House told investigators her husband touched the girl’s chest to teach her how boys might act if she continued to dress provocatively. A female foster child who lived with the couple from November 2003 to December 2004 told investigators Edwin House would lay on top of her after he tucked her into bed at night. Edwin House said Wednesday that his church is aware of the allegations against him and his wife. He is pastor of the Light House Church of God in Christ in Crescent. According to the church’s Web site, Edwin House started the church in 1984. He also ran a Christian school for three years for children in grades 1-8. House closed the school in 2007. "Nothing is going to change at the church,” Edwin House said. He said congregation members and friends have rallied to support him. House said there are no foster children in his home at this point. Beth Scott, Department of Human Services spokeswoman, said the Houses were contracted with the agency as a foster home from January 1984 until Dec. 12, 2009. Warren Plunk, the attorney who represented the Houses at their arraignments Dec. 31, said the couple knew they were being investigated by DHS months before charges were filed. "They’ve had several months to try and run from this and they haven’t,” he said. Plunk said the Houses maintain their innocence and are devastated by the charges. "They’ve done a lot of good for a lot of people over the years,” Plunk said. The next scheduled court date is Feb. 25. The Oklahoman’s Watchdog Team: Looking out for you. Visit NewsOK.com/watchdog.
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