Pastor pleads not guilty to child molestation
The Willows pastor charged with sexually assaulting two minors pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Glenn County Superior Court.
The Rev. Carlton Hammonds, 56, pastor of the Willows Baptist Church on Tehama Street, is charged with three felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a 14-year-old girl and a felony count of sexual battery with another minor, court records state.
Hammonds said his family is trying to raise the funds to hire a private attorney, but Judge Donald Cole Byrd appointed
Albert Smith to represent him, saying Hammonds could switch attorneys at his next court appearance in December.
Hammonds, a longtime pastor and a Realtor with Preferred Agents Real Estate of Willows, asked for a bail reduction hearing, which Byrd set for Dec. 2. A preliminary hearing was set for Dec. 9. Hammonds remains in custody at the Glenn County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
The charges stem from multiple incidents that reportedly occurred in June and July of 2006, according to court records.
Assistant District Attorney Dwayne Stewart said that Hammonds has been charged with assaulting two victims, but said “there are many, many multiple victims besides.”
Stewart said the “other victims” would be part of the prosecution’s case, but only as witnesses.
The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Hammonds in 2006 and filed a complaint with Glenn County prosecutors in May 2008, but staffing turnover delayed the investigation, Stewart said.