Church worker charged with child rape

NEW CASTLE, Del. - March 6, 2009 - David A. Merritt, 44, of the 300 block of Harbor Drive, has been charged with eight counts of rape in the first degree, two counts of unlawful sexual contact in the first degree and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Merritt worked as a graphic designer for the Victory Christian Fellowship Church in New Castle.

The official minister of the church there says he was unaware of Merritt's ministerial claim.

Merritt was not on the pastoral staff and worked out of a warehouse on the church property.

Police say Merritt was arrested on Wedensday after investigators completed a three-week-long investigation.

It was alleged that Merritt had illegal sexual contact with a young girl who was 12 years old when the alleged abuse began on 2006.

Police say Merritt stood in a "position of trust, authority or supervision over the child" was charged after detectives linked him to the continuous sexual abuse of the victim.

Merritt has been arraigned and committed to the Howard Young Prison after failing to post $435,000 secured bail.

Police also say there may be more victims out there.

To offer information regarding any inappropriate behavior involving Merritt, please call the New Castle County Criminal Investigation Unit at (302) 395-8110 (attention Detective Joanna Burton).

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