Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) - Murfreesboro police have reopened a 2003 case of three children who claimed their youth pastor sexually abused them.

It comes after News4 Investigates shared our findings with police, including attorneys notes from that year that back up what the children claimed happened.

Former pastor John Martin was arrested earlier this month in Florence, Alabama, on multiple charges of first-degree child abuse.

Before Martin moved to Alabama, he worked as a youth minister at the Bellwood Baptist Church in Murfreesboro.

Three of his former students reached out to News4 Investigates, claiming they too were sexually abused by Martin when they were children.

Confirmed of the reopened case  after News4 Investigates shared their claims and attorneys notes that back them up with Murfreesboro police.

“He molested me countless times,” said Rob Dasher, 27, who said the abuse happened throughout the church and Martin’s personal home when he was twelve.

Rob’s younger brother, Matthew, 26, said he too was sexually abused as a child by the former youth pastor.

“No telling how many victims there are,” Matthew Dasher said.

Nicole Simpson, 28, said when she was one of Martin’s students, he rubbed her thighs and kissed her on the lips.

“Heartbreaking, is what it was,” Simpson said.

Independently of Simpson, News4 Investigates obtained notes from her now deceased attorney from October 14, 2003.

Those notes were taken, Simpson said, when she was questioned by police when Rob and Matthew Dasher’s mother filed a police report.

Those notes reflect everything the three claim.

The notes also show that police said that there wasn’t enough evidence to charged Martin.

But all three remember Murfreesboro police investigators going to the church to speak to the head pastor.

“(They) told the pastor, ‘Hey, 100 percent, he's a pedophile. We don't have enough to convict. But this man has no business being around kids,” Matthew Dasher said.

The three also said they remember how the head pastor, now deceased, responded to the children’s claims.

“Said we were children of Satan, and stood by Martin,” Rob Dasher said.

A decision, the three said, that allowed Martin to stay at the church for at least another year and then ultimately move to Alabama, where he is now behind bars on a $60,000 bond.

“I'm glad it's happening now. I just wish it wasn't 15 years and countless victims later,” Matthew Dasher said.

News4 Investigates left a message for Martin’s attorney and attempted to speak with him at the Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, Alabama, but a jail administrator said interviews with inmates were not allowed.

News4 Investigates just obtained the police report from 2003, and we will be reviewing it and will have what it shows Friday on News4.

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