Authorities say a pastor at Ruby Valley Baptist Church in Sheridan had inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old girl in the basement of the church.
They arrested Tony Aaron Shaw, 55, on a felony complaint of sexual assault on Tuesday and he was taken to the Gallatin County jail, where he later posted $75,000 bond and was released.
Shaw, contacted by telephone, told The Montana Standard on Thursday that the allegation “had to do with how someone perceived something” and was false.
“It was nothing,” he said.
An officer with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office filed the criminal complaint in Madison County Justice Court. Because it involves an alleged felony, it will eventually be transferred to District Court.
According to the complaint, someone performing work at the church witnessed Shaw having inappropriate contact with the girl in the basement of the church. Sheriff’s officials say they had received a prior sexual assault complaint involving Shaw.
Sexual assault is defined as knowingly subjecting another person to any sexual contact without consent.
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