In Illinois, Youth Pastor Arrested For Allegedly Raping Minor Over 4-Year Period


Youth pastor Roger VanRaden was arrested after a teen from his church alleged a years-long sexual affair.

An Illinois youth pastor was arrested over the weekend and charged with sexually assaulting a teenager from his church over a period of four years, according to The News-Gazette.

Roger VanRaden, an assistant pastor and youth pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Champaign at the time of the abuse, was arrested on Saturday and released from jail on Monday after posting bond.

The 48-year-old pastor’s victim, who is now 18, told a trusted adult over the weekend that she and VanRaden had been engaging in sexual activity since 2015.

VanRaden admitted the abuse to police when questioned. Champaign County sheriff’s Lt. Curt Apperson said the pastor told him that “he had been sexually active with her, knew her age, and knew it was wrong, but continued to have sex with her, knowing he shouldn’t have.”

“At the end of the interview, he was arrested,” Apperson added. Authorities said most but not all of the abuse occurred at the church.

The News-Gazette reported that VanRaden “was arraigned Monday on three counts of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony alleging that he had sex with her on different dates at a time when he was in a position of trust over her, and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse alleging fondling,” a Class 2 felony.

VanRaden faces a mandatory sentence of four to 15 years if convicted on the most serious charge, the publication said.

Authorities said they are unaware of other potential victims at this time but noted their investigation is ongoing.

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