Trial begins for Virginia pastor charged with sexually assaulting woman at Manassas church

The trial for a Virginia pastor accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Manassas church during counseling sessions began Wednesday in a Prince William County courtroom.

Authorities say the assaults happened in March 2022 at the Reconciliation Community Church on Joplin Road.

John Roger Peyton (Prince William County Police)

The church’s pastor, then 76-year-old John Roger Peyton, was accused of inappropriately touching a 20-year-old woman who had come to the church for one-on-one counseling sessions.

The woman reported the incidents several weeks later. Peyton was arrested on April 15 and charged with sexual assault and assault and battery. He was released on his own recognizance following a court date. He is no longer an employee at the church.