Schoharie County man arrested for abusing teens

Police: Jefferson man met alleged victims through church

A Schoharie County man has been charged with sexually abusing three boys between the ages of 12 and 17, police said.

Jonathan M. Luce, 51, of Jefferson, was charged with one count of second-degree criminal sex act, a felony, one count of sexual misconduct, a misdemeanor, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, also a misdemeanor. 

Police said he engaged in sex acts with three different boys at his home over the past five years. Luce allegedly made contact with the boys as a parishioner at a Schoharie County church.

“Luce would create opportunities to be alone with the victims and then engage them in various sexual activity,” said state police in a prepared statement about the arrest. 

Luce was charged in the Town of Jefferson and is scheduled to return there Jan. 2 to answer the charges.

State police spokesman Trooper Mark Cepiel said police are not releasing the name of the church in which Luce was a parishioner but said leaders at the church are aware of the charges against him.

“He’s not employed by the church and doesn’t hold a position where he mentors youth or whatnot,” said Cepiel. “He’s a member of the congregation, a parishioner.”

Cepiel added that police don’t have any information on whether there are additional victims in the case. 

“We don’t necessarily believe [there are more victims] but the investigation is not closed, so until such time as it is, we would be looking to see if there are any more victims,” he said. 

Anyone who believes they have relevant information about Luce is urged to call state police at 518-630-1712. 

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