Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pastor arrested for sex with teen girl

Look, when having sex with a minor, its considered an act of rape cause they don't know any better.

BROOKSVILLE - A former youth pastor was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of having sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl last summer while employed with a local church.

Brian S. Brijbag, 35, of 122 W. Fort Dade Ave. in Brooksville, was charged with one count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Brijbag is accused of having sex with two teenage girls in his office. He was charged because one of the women was younger than 18, police said.

Brooksville Police Chief George Turner said one of the sexual encounters occurred on or around July 17, 2010, and more sexual relations took place on "other dates during the summer."

Brijbag was hired in March 2007 to be the youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Brooksville. The pastor learned of the allegations against Brijbag a couple weeks ago and placed him on administrative leave with pay, said Alan Arick, the worship director at the church.

Brijbag, a married father of three, submitted his resignation to Pastor Matthew Ellis the day after the accusations were made. It was accepted the day of his arrest, Arick said.

"One of the young people involved brought it to the attention of the pastor," said Arick, who declined to be more specific.

Turner said the church contacted his agency with the allegations and conducted its own investigation. Its findings were turned over to police.

"They had meetings with the subjects involved," said Turner. "Everyone they spoke to we spoke to also."

Turner said roughly six people were interviewed, including the victim and the 18-year-old who participated.

Detectives tried to contact Brijbag on several occasions, but he could not be reached, said the chief.

"The church was very concerned about that kind of conduct," said Turner. "They reported it to us … They didn't waste any time in giving any information to us."

The First Baptist Church of Brooksville is located at 420 Howell Ave.

In addition to his church activities, Brijbag is an active community volunteer and one-time organizer of the Bandshell Bash, a once-per-month free concert series that used to be held at Hernando Park in downtown Brooksville. In 2006, he was the city's redevelopment coordinator.

Brijbag also was an active member of the Hernando County Fine Arts Council, but resigned a week ago citing "family reasons," said Executive Director Myndee Washington.

She said Brijbag stopped being active with the council late last year after he decided to go back to school.

"This is a very sad situation for everyone involved," said Jerry Cowling, who is the secretary of the council.

Brijbag hosted an AM radio show — called "Fire Escape" — one night per week on WWJB 1450 in Brooksville. A station manager said he stopped doing the show about six months ago.

On his Facebook page, Brijbag stated he is a host for an internationally syndicated radio program, but wasn't specific.

His Facebook profile also includes a quote from Augusten Burroughs — "I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."

Brijbag turned himself in Tuesday afternoon at the Hernando County Jail, according to the sheriff's office. His bond was set at $10,000 and he subsequently posted bail.

A message left on Brijbag's cell phone Wednesday afternoon was not returned.

Turner said the sex among the victim, Brijbag and the 18-year-old woman was "consensual."

The victim was about three months away from her 18th birthday, Turner said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Being accused of statutory rape is not the same as being convicted of it. "Innocent until proven guilty" is the law of the land. This and similar articles in your blog really deserve no mention if a conviction hasn't been handed down.

BTW, the articles you've chosen in this blog tend to showcase sinful behavior, not Christian ideals. Your blog would be more aptly titled "Why Sin is the Wrong Path." Sure, a person could attempt to invalidate *any* group or belief system by simply stringing together a few articles about members who failed to measure up to that group's standards. But, think about how absurd that is. I mean, we wouldn't brand all teachers as pedophiles just because a handful of them actually are pedophiles. That's pure prejudice and very flawed thinking. I don't care whether it's a Christian or a Muslim thinking that's wrong and it needs to stop if there is to ever be any hope for peace in the world.

The sad truth is there will always be a small percentage of horrible, deeply disturbed trouble-makers lurking in the shadows of every group in every society, while the rest of us try to live productive, peaceful lives. You don't like them. I don't like them. But unfortunately, they're out there and we have to live with them. Peace to you.