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Former pastor's history under scrutiny after forcible touching charges

(Photo: Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

Rochester, N.Y. (13WHAM) - Paul Burress gained widespread attention three years ago after implementing mixed martial arts, or MMA, fighting into the church he where he served as a pastor.

On Friday, Burress, a former pastor at Victory Church in Henrietta, was arrested and charged with two counts of forcible touching, a misdemeanor. According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the charges are brought on by two people and involve alleged incidents from this past February.

According to a member of the church's leadership, Burress resigned for unknown reasons in July 2017. Until then, he had been a part of Victory Church for several years.

Since Burress' arrest, 13WHAM has received several calls from people claiming to be victims of Burress' crimes, as well as a call from another claiming to be one of the two people pressing charges against Burress.

Other callers include people who say they were members of Victory Church for several years, adding they aren't surprised by Burress' arrest. They also claim church leadership knew of Burress' questionable behavior in the past and didn't anything about it.

Various websites on the Internet outline past allegations of Burress' questionable behavior. But like these current charges against him, they are unsubstantiated.

13WHAM visited Burress at his home and called several times for a comment on the allegations, but there was no answer. 13WHAM reached out to Victory Church for comment; they have yet to answer.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has not released any more information on the investigation. Police have also not verified if the people pressing charges against Burress are current or former members of Victory Church.

This is a developing story. Stay with 13WHAM for more information as it becomes available.

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