Court sets trial for Calera pastor facing first-degree rape charge
By GINNY COOPER/ Staff Writer
CALERA—The case for a Calera pastor accused of first-degree rape is continued for placement on the court’s next available pre-trial docket, according to documents filed in the case April 1.
Harry Vester Jones, 50, was arrested April 15, 2013, after he did allegedly “engage in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex by forcible compulsion,” according to court documents. The alleged victim was 39 years old and not a Calera resident, according to previous statements by investigators. Jones was released from jail the following day after posting a $60,000 bond.
A Shelby County grand jury indicted Jones on a single charge of first-degree rape Sept. 18, 2013. Jones was set to appear in court for an arraignment hearing Nov. 4, but filed a waiver of arraignment and plea of not guilty Oct. 15, according to court documents.
Jones, whose address is listed at Saratoga Lane in Birmingham, was the senior pastor of the New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Calera at the time of his arrest. Jones was also involved in Shelby County’s litigation challenging the Voting Rights Act.
The court will set trail at a later date.