TILTON — A Meredith man is awaiting a probable cause hearing on Friday to answer charges that he sexually assaulted at least two children in his care.
Mark Thurber, 42, is being held for lack of $75,000 cash bail Wednesday at Belknap County Jail in Laconia.
He was arrested last week and charged with two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault for two alleged assaults that took place in Meredith and Tilton over the past several years, said Tilton police Detective Brian Keeler.
“We and the Meredith police are alleging that he assaulted minors under 15 more than once, two victims,” Keeler said.
Police said they fear that Thurber took advantage of his position as a church worker. They would not elaborate further.
“He’s part of a church, he worked with children,” Keeler said.
Thurber initially was arrested in Meredith for an alleged assault. The alleged victim then came to Tilton police with a complaint from their town and he was arrested again.
Keeler said the church they are concerned about is the Grace Capital Church, which, according to its website, has campuses in Concord, Manchester, Pembroke and Laconia.
Grace Capital Church Pastor Mark Warren said while Thurber was a volunteer at the church and went through heavy screening, the dates of the alleged assaults predate his involvement with the church.
“There’s been some misinformation out there,” Warren said. “Mark was a member of our church, he volunteered for the youth ministry, but he was not an employee of the church, and the incident in question took place before he joined us.”
“His work with us had nothing to do with the arrest, there is no connection,” Warren said, adding that he had only heard about one incident for which Thurber was arrested.
“He is also innocent until proven guilty,” Warren said.