Pastor Charged With Growing Marijuana On Parsonage Grounds

WOODSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - A Monroe County pastor has been charged with growing marijuana after several plants were found growing in flower beds on the parsonage grounds.

The Rev. William L. Worcester III, 61, of Lewisville, is charged with cultivation of marijuana, a fifth degree felony; use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth degree misdemeanor; and possession of drugs, a minor misdemeanor.

Worcester appeared in Monroe County Court on Wednesday and did not enter a plea. He did request that he be given treatment instead of a conviction on the two misdemeanor counts.

Judge James Peters will consider Worcester's request for treatment at his preliminary hearing on July 24.

Police Capt. Curtis Shrives said Worcester was charged July 1 after marijuana was found growing on the parsonage grounds where Worcester lives, next to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Lewisville.

Worcester faces up to 13 months in jail and $2,750 in fines if convicted on all counts.

Lewisville is 95 miles east of Columbus.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)