A Pennsylvania pastor faces nearly 170 criminal charges after he allegedly impregnated a 15-year-old girl from his youth group during a seven-month sexual relationship, authorities said.
Wesley Blackburn, 35, was arrested after his wife told Faith Brethren Bible Church’s head pastor last Thursday that her husband had confessed to what was called an “affair,” WJAC-TV reported.
Blackburn allegedly told his wife that he no longer loved her anymore, that he wanted a divorce and that the teen was pregnant.
“She said, ‘I don’t know what to do,’ and I said, ‘I do,’” Senior Pastor Jim Espenshade, told the television station, saying that within minutes he and the rest of the church leaders met, fired Blackburn and called the police.
Blackburn, a father of five who served as a youth pastor and Sunday school teacher, allegedly told Pennsylvania State Police that he met the girl in 2009 and they grew closer after she joined his youth group in 2014, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by The Tribune-Democrat.
The pair developed a physical relationship in March, Blackburn reportedly said.
"[I feel] disappointed, betrayed, stabbed in the back. I have a 14-year-old granddaughter. When I heard what he did - upset is a good word for it," Espenshade told WJAC-TV.
Blackburn was charged with 84 felony counts of statutory sexual assault, 84 misdemeanor counts of indecent assault and one felony count of corruption of minors.
He was arraigned Thursday and remains in Bedford County Jail on $200,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court October 19.