Youth minister accused of having sex with 15-year-old girl

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A youth minister for a Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, church is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison after his arrest Friday for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl in his youth group.

Brian Keith Smith, 33, has been charged with the felonies of aggravated indecent assault of a minor younger than 16 and possession of child pornography, and with the misdemeanors of indecent assault of a minor younger than 16 and corruption of minors, for sexual acts with the girl at Journey By Grace Church on Route 51, according to a Rostraver police criminal complaint.

Mr. Smith and the victim began meeting at the church after the girl, who has not been identified, joined the church's youth group, The Joshua Project, in September 2013, the complaint states.

Mr. Smith, of Belle Vernon, told police he first kissed the teen in or around February 2014, and that between February and mid-July he penetrated her sexually with his fingers on several occasions, exchange oral sex with her on several occasions, and had other sexual contact on at least three occasions in a back room of the church, according to the criminal complaint.

Mr. Smith and the victim also exchanged sexually explicit pictures by text on their cell phones during that period, police said.

During his interview with police, Mr. Smith admitted to having a sexual relationship with the girl, according to the complaint.

The complaint states he told police, "Both of us knew it was wrong," after having been read his Miranda rights.

Bill Bailey, pastor for Journey By Grace Church, said church leaders took the victim to the Rostraver police as soon as allegations were made against Mr. Smith.

"We have made every effort to cooperate with our local police department," Mr. Bailey said in a prepared statement. "Also after learning of the accusations, Mr. Brian Smith was immediately terminated from employment with us."


Amy McConnell Schaarsmith: aschaarsmith@post-gazette.com. First Published July 28, 2014 12:00 AM


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