Ex-Kennesaw mayor charged with child molestation

KENNESAW, Ga. -- A former Kennesaw mayor and current city council member has been charged with molesting a young boy.

Leonard Leroy Church, 66, is being held without bond in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on two counts of child molestation.

Cobb County Police said the victim told his parents that Church showed him pornography and then molested him in the suspect's Dreux Court home.

Next door neighbors say several Cobb County police officers showed up at Kennesaw City Councilman Leonard Church's home on Dreux Court around 1:30 or 2 a.m. Friday and spent some time there.

"I think everyone was really surprised," neighbor Celine Esmer told 11Alive.

"It's something we never really expected from him, especially because his grand kids are always here and, you know, he's a nice guy...so it was shocking," she added.

According to his biography on the city of Kennesaw website, Church was elected mayor in 1999 and served two terms. He was appointed to city council last year. He is also a real estate agent and owns his own business, Church Dental Prosthetics.Former Councilman Bruce Jenkins lost his seat to Church in that most recent election and served under Church when his challenger was mayor.

"I'm very concerned for both, most importantly the children of our community and then also for Councilman Church and his family," Jenkins told 11Alive.

But he asked Kennesaw's nearly 30,000 citizens not rush to judgement.

"I would ask that folks in the community reserve judgement until all the facts are in," he added.

Church has six children and nine grandchildren.


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