MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A violent sex offender is back behind bars after police say he flashed a young woman inside a Memphis church.
Police say Willie Edwards exposed and starting touching himself in front of a young volunteer at St. John United Methodist Church on Peabody Avenue on Jan. 27.
"I would've beat the daylights out of him," church member Samuel Crews said. "I've got three daughters I raised."
Police say the female victim reported the incident to the church. The church then told Edwards he could not return to the property.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation records show that this is not Edwards first run in with sexual misconduct. He's listed as a violent sex offender and has previous charges in 2002 and 1989.
St. John's church is a sanctuary for people looking for a helping hand.
"I don't understand how a fellow like that's brain thinks," Crews said. "He comes up here to get a freebie meal and coffee."
Edwards was living at Barron Heights Transitional Center, which helps military veterans transition back into society. The center said it was not aware of the case.
Edwards appeared in court Tuesday. He's in jail on a $10,000 bond.
Crews hopes the incident does not reflect poorly on St. John's church.
"The people here that serve us are nice, and most of the people that come are nice."
St. John's released the following statement in response to the incident: