Friday, May 21, 2010

Youth pastor charged with sex assault is released on bond

Youth pastor charged with sex assault is released on bond

Jason Phillips, 2010 @ 06:19 PM
Last update May 20, 2010 @ 10:03 PM
LEWISTOWN — A Canton youth pastor who was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually assaulting an underage girl involved with his church was released from jail Thursday after posting bond.

Jason A. Phillips, 34, a youth pastor and associate pastor at Covenant Community Fellowship Church in Canton, faces one felony count of criminal sexual assault in Fulton County Court.

Police said Phillips had sexual contact on several occasions with the girl, who is between the ages of 13 and 17.

The girl told her parents about the alleged contact, and the parents contacted police, who began a nine-day investigation before arresting Phillips, according to Sgt. Brad Ward of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation included reviewing phone calls and text messages and conducting interviews.

Ward said there was no sexual intercourse between Phillips and the girl and said the alleged assault did not occur at the church.

Phillips' bond was set at $75,000 during a court hearing Thursday. He was released from the Fulton County Jail after posting $7,500 and is scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m. June 2.

Fulton County State's Attorney John Clark said Phillips was a "person in a position of authority" at the time of the alleged assault and had contact with the girl "through his work."

Church founder and senior pastor Kevin Van Tine is not commenting on Phillips' arrest, a church staff member said Thursday.

According to the church's website, Phillips began working part time at the church in 1996 and was hired to work full time in 1997 by Van Tine and the church's board of elders.

The website also said Phillips has been married for nine years, has two children younger than 5 and started his involvement in the ministry after a "radical transformation by the power of Jesus Christ."

Police said Phillips has no prior criminal history.

1 comment:

sounddoctorin said...

In my vast observation (i'm the original internet evangelist it appears... I've been reasoning with people about Biblical credibility etc. since 1986 on usenet/internet..) I've seen this.

For example in 1982 I was working with youth at my fellowship. I was a really athletic guy...6' and could roundhouse dunk. Not bad for a white guy. lol. I had a lot of really beautiful girls in the youth group and hey I'll be the first to admit! I was attracted to them. However I ALSO had convictions of GOd's spirit. One I liked very much invited me in after bringing her home and I asked 'are your folks there?' She said 'nooo'. I said 'uhh..well hey we've got to get up early for that beach trip tomorrow..I probably should get some rest.'

I knew she wasn't mature enough at 15 or 16 though she was physically mature looking... she just hadn't developed her own CHARACTER enough to be in a situation like that so I didn't PUT her there. Someone else did... a non-Christian guy. Her dad got a brain tumor right after they married and he died and wound up buried right side by side w/ my dad. Interesting huh? They didn't even know each other but I took it as a sign from God because I'd been led that if she did persevere through that she'd be my wife.

I never found my wife. I turned away from dozens of encounters where women wanted me to get intimately involved. But I didn't go there and they all off'd me and went with someone else. They could NOT just develop a friendship to where I knew they were the right one. Nope.

Anyway HERE IS THE DEAL. The typical 'church' environment is full of people afraid to judge. AS a result people like a guy that was my assistant (the paid guy btw... i worked for free)for a while get in there. He hit on me and I later found out he'd molested some of the kids using a ploy he would do.

The guy had no interest in Jesus Christ really. He was there like a wolf among ignorant sheep. That's the issue. THese environments LACK people that like myself hold to a firm foundation so that they can watch over the flock. A portion of the kids were taken in by him and kind of snubbed me for a while so by the time I found out he was doing this it was too late..and he'd been sent to seminary where..of course...he found a nice wifey.

I got a bag of rocks. Lol. But I have a God who loves me and I've dedicated my life to serving him.