YOUTH PASTOR ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT

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35 YEAR OLD WESLEY RYAN BLACKBURN OF NEW PARIS A YOUTH PASTOR FOR THE FAITH BRETHREN BIBLE CHURCH IN NEW PARIS HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH 84 COUNTS OF STATUTORY SEXUAL ASSAULT & 86 COUNTS OF INDECENT ASSAULT. ACCORDING TO AN AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE. BLACKBURN HAD A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A 15 YEAR OLD FEMALE FROM THE CHURCH. THE 15 YEAR OLD GIRL IS PREGNANT WITH BLACKBURN’S BABY. POLICE MET WITH PASTOR JAMES ESPENSHADE WHO TOLD POLICE HE HAD BEEN CONTACTED BY LANA BLACKBURN THE WIFE OF WESLEY. WHO TOLD THE PASTOR HER HUSBAND WAS IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A 15 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO ATTENDED THE CHURCH.

POLICE SPOKE WITH WESLEY BLACKBURN WHO WAS CLEANING OUT HIS OFFICE AT THE CHURCH WHEN POLICE ARRIVED. BLACKBURN TOLD POLICE HE TEACHES SUNDAY SCHOOL AT THE CHURCH SINCE 2009. AND HAD MET THE GIRL IN IN NOVEMBER OF 2014. HE ADMITTED THAT HE KNOW THE GIRL WAS PREGNANT WITH HIS BABY. POLICE TOOK HIM INTO CUSTODY AT THE CHURCH. POLICE THEN INTERVIEWED LANA BLACKBURN WHO TOLD POLICE HER HUSBAND HAD ASKED HER FOR A DIVORCE ON OCTOBER 5. HE TOLD HIS WIFE HE DID NOT LOVE HER ANYMORE AND THAT HE WAS IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A 15 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO LANA HAD ALSO KNOWN FROM THE CHURCH.

WESLEY HAD TOLD HIS WIFE HE HAD COME UP WITH A PLAN TO GET PERMISSION FROM THE GIRL’S PARENTS TO MARRY HER. POLICE AGAIN SPOKE WITH WESLEY BLACKBURN. POLICE ASKED BLACKBURN HOW MANY TIMES DID HIM AND THE GIRL HAD SEX. HE DID NOT KNOW. ALL HE KNEW WAS THEY STARTED HAVING SEX IN MARCH OF 2016. THEY HAD SEX A FEW TIMES A WEEK. THEY WERE IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF BEFORE THEY BEGAN HAVING SEX. BLACKBURN WANTED IT KNOWN THAT THEY NEVER HAD SEX IN THE CHURCH.

HE IS IN THE BEDFORD COUNTY JAIL ON $200,000 BAIL

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