Scottsdale pastor on leave after accusations of sexual abuse

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Highlands Church in Scottsdale has asked Pastor Les Hughey to take a leave of absence after four women accused him of sexual abuse that happened more than 40 years ago.

The alleged abuse happened while Hughey was with a church in California during the 1970s.

The Modesto Bee, a California newspaper, interviewed four women who say Hughey gave them back rubs that were sexual in nature. One woman claimed she had an ongoing sexual relationship with Hughey and he used his position to manipulate her and others.

A source close to the family says Hughey did have a consensual affair during this time, but the other accusations are not true. The source also says that Hughey was just an intern at the time.

Highlands Church released a statement saying they asked Hughey to take leave while these claims are investigated. The church also said they are concerned for the well-being of everyone involved. They also released a statement from Hughey which says: 

"I engaged in consensual relationships with fellow college-age staff. With God's help, my wife's forgiveness, and discipline and counseling from church authority, I sincerely repented and we put our lives back in order."

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