Crime & Courts

Former Kannapolis youth pastor faces another sex crime charge

A former youth pastor at a church in Kannapolis who was charged with sex crimes last week involving young girls is facing a new charge, according to Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten.

Benjamin Ross Hollifield, 25, has now been charged with one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. According to the arrest warrant, the charge said Hollifield encouraged and facilitated a 13-year-old to engage in sexual activity and to submit a photo.

The new charge added $10,000 to the $1 million bond that Hollifield is being held on in the Rowan County Detention Center.

Hollifield, 25, of Buck Board Lane in Salisbury, was arrested on April 17 on charges of taking indecent liberties with children and statutory rape/sex offense with a person age 13, 14 or 15 by a person at least six years older.

Piedmont Baptist Church in Kannapolis released a statement Saturday on its website saying an employee was fired and that “the one known victim and their family are valued members of our church, and we are praying for and ministering to them during this difficult time. We would ask that you please respect their privacy.”