Youth pastor charged with rape, sending explicit pictures to teen
During his first court appearance Wednesday morning, 44-year-old Michael Parsons kept quiet. He’s charged with two counts of rape and 22 counts of electronic solicitation of a minor for sex.
“Very explicit sexual acts that were recorded and sent to the victim,” McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden said of Parsons alleged behavior.
Sheriff Hayden said Parsons told detectives everything Tuesday night – including admitting to sending pornographic images of himself starting in 2013 to a then 16 year-old girl he met while he was youth pastor at Milburn Chapel in West Paducah.
“In the course of this investigation this far, (we) have already recovered in excess of 22 videos and photos,” Sheriff Hayden said.
Hayden said Parsons also had sex with the victim during youth group meetings at the church and at his home in Ballard County. We went to Parsons’ home today. His wife didn’t want to comment on the charges. Hayden said even if the sex was consensual, Parsons paid position with the church made it illegal.
“A person who would be in position such as this that would take advantage of minor child in this way is certainly disturbing to say the least,” Sheriff told Local 6.
Many of the explicit messages were sent through cell phone, and Hayden said this should remind all parents to keep an eye on their kid’s activities.
“Know what they are doing, know who they’re communicating with and know what they’re communicating about,” Sheriff Hayden said.
STATEMENT FROM MILBURN CHAPEL CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH ON ARREST OF YOUTH LEADER
“We at Milburn Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church are shocked and saddened by the arrest of one of our volunteers.
None of us knew anything of these allegations until early this morning, March 11, when the arrest was made.
We pray for justice to be done, we pray for the best for the victim, and we ask for prayers for our church in this difficult time.”
–The Session of Milburn Chapel