A pastor in Pennsylvania has been arrested and charged after impregnating a 15-year-old girl from his youth group during a seven-month sexual relationship.
35 -year-old Wesley Blackburn, the youth pastor at Faith Brethren Bible Church, is married, and his wife told the head pastor, senior pastor Jim Espenshade, that he’d confessed to the relationship before asking for a divorce.
He and other church leaders immediately fired Blackburn, a father of five, and notified police last week.
When a state trooper found him packing his things, he told the officer that he’d begun having sex with the girl back in March. He admitted that he’d fathered the girlâ€™s child as well.
He’d met the girl during his first year at the church in 2009. She’d been in his youth group for seventh and eighth graders since 2014.
Authorities say Blackburn had revealed the affair to his wife just the night before. He told her that he didn’t love her before asking for a divorce.
It was the following morning that she talked with Espenshad.
Blackburn refused to even discuss the allegations with Espenshade and the deacons of the church, so they fired him immediately, according to Espenshade.
“We didn’t even care what he had to say. We don’t tolerate this kind of stuff. It’s inappropriate. It’s reprehensible.â€ Espenshade said. â€œAnd there was never a discussion of anything else. And I donâ€™t mean this in a terrible way: We didnâ€™t care what the community was going to say about us, we had to do what was right.â€
He’s been charged with 84 felony counts of statutory sexual assault, 84 misdemeanor counts of indecent assault, and one felony count of corruption of minors.
He remains in the Bedford County jail with bail set at $200,000.