"KNOXVILLE — Two local ministers face felony charges for seeking sex with underage girls during an undercover sting targeting human trafficking and prostitution this week, authorities said Friday.
Jason Evan Kennedy, 46, head of the children's ministry at Grace Baptist Church of Knoxville, was one of two men charged with felony human trafficking and patronizing prostitution after they answered online advertisements specifically offering sex with an underage girl, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced during a news conference.
Also charged with felony trafficking is Zubin Percy Parakh, 32, of Oak Ridge, who serves as creative pastor with Lifehouse Church in Oak Ridge, according to the church's website.
In reality, the ads were placed by law enforcement as part of a four-day sting operation at a North Knoxville motel, deemed "Operation Someone Like Me," conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Knoxville Police Department.
Another 25 men who responded to the ads were cited for patronizing prostitution. They include a local engineer and a volunteer firefighter, whom authorities did not identify Friday."
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