Man Accused of Using Outreach Ministry In Sex Abuse Operation

The Circleville Police Department is reporting the arrest of a man accused of preying upon the homeless and juveniles to sexually abuse them.

According to the Circleville Police Department Facebook page, the department along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol Computer Crimes Unit served a search warrant at 540 East Franklin Street in Circleville after police received information concerning multiple sexual assaults of juveniles.

Upon investigating the incident, additional possible victims were located and the suspect was identified as 56-year old Hank O. Stapelton of Circleville. A search warrant was served at Stapleton's residence where multiple items of evidence were seized.

Stapelton was placed under arrest and transported to the county jail on charges of one count of Felony 1 Rape and two counts Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles. Additional charges are expected, pending electronic forensics.

During the investigation it was found that Stapelton was operating and using a Christian outreach ministry for the homeless to locate and abuse victims.

At this time, Circleville Police say they have identified two more victims and are asking for any additional victims or witnesses to come forward.

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