Church Van Driver Charged With Child Rape - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Church Van Driver Charged With Child Rape

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By Chris Cannon 

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A man is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a pre-teen. Police said the attack happened while 55-year-old Gregory Dougherty was driving a van for a Clarksville church.

The church is located just across the street from Austin Peay State University, and Dougherty has driven buses at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church for years. 

"The allegation was the driver of the bus committed rape," said Jim Knoll with the Clarksville Police Department. 

Clarksville police arrested Dougherty this week after a lengthy investigation. 

"This gentleman has been a bus driver for the church for some time. So when this came down, like I said, we did a thorough investigation," said Knoll. 

The alleged rape happened in March. A Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted Dougherty nine months later. 

Police said the day the crime happened the 12-year-old was the only passenger on the bus.  According to reports, Dougherty pulled over to the side of the road and attacked the girl. 

Police think Dougherty took advantage of his influence over the girl. 

"This is almost an authority figure, even though he's a bus driver. Yes, this is shocking, and a child, this is a grown man that the allegations have been made against," said Knoll. 

Police said church leaders have been cooperative in their investigation and that the case if far from over. 

"This still has to go to court. I mean we still have to prove our case in court, but there was sufficient information for the indictment to be taken," said Knoll. 

Church leaders at Mt. Olive have been cooperating with police, but they did not want to talk with NewsChannel 5. 

NewsChannel 5 also stopped by Pastor David Allen's house Wednesday, but he was not available to comment. Allen is also a councilman in Clarksville. 

NewsChannel 5 also paid a visit to Gregory Dougherty's house, but no one answered the door. 

A judge set Dougherty's bond at $50,000. He remained locked up in the Montgomery County Jail Wednesday night. 

email: ccannon@newschannel5.com 

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