Former Youth Minister Charged With Child Seduction
By Mike Perleberg
*Our initial report identified the wrong church. It has been updated to reflect the correct church name. We apologize for the error.
(Versailles, Ind.) – A former youth minister is accused of having relations with a teen girl who was part of the church youth group he led.
Indiana State Police began investigating Rodney Mathews, 24, in February after relatives of the 16-year-old victim came forward with the allegations. Mathews was charged on March 7 in Ripley County with two counts of felony child seduction and two felony counts of possession of child pornography.
State police say Mathews had a relationship starting in 2014 with a 16-year-old girl who was a member of the youth group at Versailles Church of Christ, where Mathews was the youth minister.
According to a court affidavit, Mathew and the girl both allegedly told police that the relationship began around the time of her 16th birthday with kisses she described as a “peck” and a “smooch”. The relationship progress with the two allegedly exchanging photos of body parts over the social media app SnapChat.
Mathews was arrested March 9. He is currently out of the Ripley County Jail after posting a $550 bond.
Mathews told police that he stepped down as the church’s youth minister as word of the relationship got out.