Top 3 Headlines on WHSV.com July 18

These are the most viewed headlines on WHSV.com for July 17th. Stories with available video will have a link in the headline.

Member of Church Reacts to Pastor Aggravated Sexual Battery Charges

Reporter: Estephany Escobar

LURAY, Va.---The Page County Sheriff's Office charged a pastor from Luray with two counts of aggravated sexual battery. The victim is under the age of 13.

The 70-year-old man is the pastor of Beth Eden Lutheran Church.

Susan Johnson who is a member of the congregation knew the pastor years before. Daley and his wife used to babysit her kids for seven years.

"We were like family," said Johnson. " [He] always loved children, he was always going to their school activities, always going to pick up the children from school if I needed him to. If they were sick and I was at work, he was there."

Johnson said she never expected this pastor would be charged with a sex crime. "I couldn't believe it was very shocking," said Johnson. "[He was] awesome with the kids, I would have never guessed this would have happened."

She said it is even more shocking he is the leader of the congregation. "Those are the people that you tend to charge your children more to and it seems like more so nowadays, those are the ones doing the crimes," said Johnson.

However, she cannot tell if he is guilty because she has not talked to him in six years. "From previous years and from babysitting my kids, I would have to say, no he's not guilty. But things happen, people do things that nobody expects you to do," said Johnson.

She said the only thing she is sure of is that her kids were never in any danger. "The only thing that I can speak for is the seven years he had my children and I know there was nothing of that nature going on with those kids," said Johnson.

The charges came about after someone filed a complaint to the Luray police department. The Page County Sheriff's Office is now handling the case along with the Department of Social Services and the Commonwealth's Attorney.

Teenagers Rescue Drowning Boy

Reporter:Anna-Lysa Gayle

DAYTON,Va. --- A 15-year-old is in the hospital after nearly drowning. A group of teenagers is credited with saving the boy's life.

 "Usually my son and his buddies are out here everyday playing in the river," said Jenny Turner, whose son helped save the boy's life. "We was down here in the river and he was trying to save his brother and hit his head," said 15-year-old Jared Turner.

Turner said that when his friend became unconscious he was unable to swim. The boys say after they saw their friend's body floating down the river, they jumped in to save him.

"We saw this tan body like floating down the river, so me and my other friend we took off running, we flipped him over," said Tryston Pettington, also 15-years-old. That's when he began performing CPR, something he learned in school. "He wasn't breathing normally and after I did all the compressions he finally coughed up most of the water and then he was breathing normally," said Pettington.

He doesn't think he's the only hero. He thanks his friends for their help. "I don't want to take the whole fall for the whole thing," said Pettington. "It's scary and I would just tell other parents to keep a close eye on their children, especially playing in the rivers this summer," said Jenny Turner.

Neighbors say after emergency responders arrived on the scene yesterday, the boy was transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center.

 

Pamela's Secret Owner Pleads Guilty in Bath Salts Case

Reporter: Estephany Escobar

HARRISONBURG, Va.--The owner of an adult store pleaded guilty to being part of a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute bath salts at his store on Wednesday.

Augustus Julias is one of the three men linked to the case. Julias pleaded guilty in front of a federal judge and the judge took the plea under advisement.

According to court documents, police found 300 grams of bath salts inside of Pamela's Secret. It also seized another 200 grams of bath salts being shipped to the adult store.

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