Youth Pastor Allegedly Impregnated 15-Year-Old In His Church Group

A married Pennsylvania youth pastor has been fired and jailed over charges he impregnated a 15-year-old girl.

State police say the wife of 35-year-old Wesley Blackburn reported him to James Espenshade, senior pastor of Faith Brethren Bible Church in Bedford County, on October 6, the day after Blackburn told his wife about his ongoing sexual relationship with the teen and asked for a divorce. Espenshade and the church’s deacons fired Blackburn in the parking lot of the church later that day and then called police. A state trooper arrived at the church and took him into custody.

Police say he’s acknowledged impregnating the teen.

“I was shocked. Absolutely shocked,” Espenshade said to WJAC News. “You work with him and you’re there and you’re thinking, How could this happen?… We didn’t even care what he had to say — we don’t tolerate this kind of stuff. It’s inappropriate. It’s reprehensible.”

The Tribune-Democrat reports that Blackburn is a father of five who led weekly meetings for seventh- and eighth-grade students. He met the teen in 2009, when he arrived at Faith Brethren Bible Church, and she joined his youth group in 2014; they began a physical relationship in March.

Online court records don’t list an attorney for Blackburn, who remained in the Bedford County jail Friday unable to post the $200,000 bail and facing one count of corruption of minors and 84 counts each of statutory sexual assault and indecent assault.

Credit: cosmopolitan

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