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Pastor arrested after officiating funeral

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The Rev. Michael Berkeley, a Tipton County native currently living in Arkansas, was arrested at Covington Memorial Gardens Monday after he officiated the funeral of Wally Smith, the Tipton County Sheriff's Office said. 

Berkeley, formerly employed with Maley-Yarbrough Funeral Home and former owner of a coffee shop on the square, was indicted in Boone County, Ark. 

According to the sheriff's office, he was picked up on a warrant charging him with one count of sexual assault in the first degree, one count of sexual assault in the second degree, five counts of knowingly supplying alcohol to minors, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, one count of sexual solicitation and two counts of loaning pornography to a minor. 

He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond and is awaiting extradition to Arkansas. 

Sheriff Pancho Chumley said the incidents occurred in Arkansas, not Tipton County. 

Harrison, Ark. police say the investigation began in March after victims reported visiting Berkeley's home where they allegedly drank alcohol, smoked marijuana and a hookah. Several said Berkeley walked around the house naked and had sexual contact with them. Additionally, he is accused of watching pornography with the minors and taking them to a funeral home to view a dead body. 

Before moving to Arkansas, Berkeley was the pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Henning and officiated several weddings and funerals in Tipton County.

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