Saturday, March 17, 2012

Virginian Pastor arrested on sex charges for luring teen girl

PETERSBURG - A pastor of a Dinwiddie County church is in custody after allegedly using Facebook to try and meet a 15-year-old girl for sex.

A guardian of the teen prompted the investigation after notifying police.

Petersburg police arrested the Rev. Dr. Curtis Glendell Mathews at his Prince George County home late Tuesday night.

According to search warrants for Mathews' Prince George home and Springfield Baptist Church in Dinwiddie, where he is pastor, police interviewed the victim, who said she was having conversations with a person she believed to also be a minor. The communication was through Facebook.

The search warrant indicates that police viewed numerous sexually explicit messages from the male to the victim. Also according to the warrant, the victim met with the man in Petersburg on Monday and saw that he was an adult, later identified as Mathews.

Mathews, 50, is being held without bond in Riverside Regional Jail in Prince George County on two felony counts of using a communication device for facilitating sex with a minor.

The search warrants indicate that police were looking for "cell phones, computers, hard drives, digital storage devices including but not limited to tapes, CDs, DVDs, Zip Disks and jump drives, iPads, iPods, documents, photos and digital images, optical storage devices or other memory storage devices, peripheral input/output devices such as keyboards, printers, monitors, software and instruction manuals and videotapes related to sexual activity between children and adults."

Petersburg police spokeswoman Esther Hyatt said that the investigation is continuing. She couldn't say whether or not the victim attends Springfield Baptist Church.

According to the church's website, the church was organized in 1867 and claims to be one of the oldest black churches in the south.

Mathews says on the website for the church, "when you visit Springfield you will feel safe no matter where you are in your life, because at Springfield we love like Christ."

Calls to the church office were not answered Wednesday afternoon.

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