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Youth pastor faces sexual assault charges

The former youth pastor of Faith Brethren Bible Church is facing indecent assault charges, after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl, and impregnating her.

NEW PARIS - The former youth pastor of Faith Brethren Bible Church is facing indecent assault charges after he admitted to having a sexual relationship and impregnating a 15-year-old girl.

Jim Espenshade, senior pastor, said that Wesley Blackburn's wife called him in tears, and told him about the affair, adding that the girl was now pregnant.

"(I feel) disappointed, betrayed, stabbed in the back. I have a 14-year-old granddaughter. When I heard what he did - upset is a good word for it," Espenshade said.

Espenshade said Blackburn told his wife he did not love her anymore, and wanted a divorce.

"She said 'I don't know what to do,' and I said 'I do,'" he said.

He said he immediately contacted the rest of the church leaders, and within minutes they all met in the church parking lot, firing Blackburn on the spot and calling police.

"We didn't even care what he had to say. We don't tolerate this kind of stuff it's inappropriate. It's reprehensible. There was never a discussion of anything else. We had to do what was right," Espenshade said.

Blackburn, a father of five, is a man the church thought they could turn to to guide their children. He met with seventh and eighth-graders weekly. His confession told a different story.

"The man (who) got arrested- I don't know him. I was shocked, absolutely shocked to think that you work with them, and you're thinking 'How could this happen, how could he do this,'" Espenshade said.

Blackburn's wife declined to comment.

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