ROSTRAVER (KDKA) – A youth pastor in Westmoreland County has been arrested for allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.
According to the criminal complaint, Brian Keith Smith, 33, of Belle Vernon, was arraigned on July 25.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
As a youth pastor, Smith was supposed to show teens the value of faith and prayer, but police say he was a sexual predator.
“He was in a position of trust,” said Rostraver Police Chief Greg Resetar. “He should have discouraged activity like this as we know now he went to a different direction.”
Smith admitted to police that he and the girl engaged in sexual activities on multiple occasions inside the Journey By Grace church in Rostraver.
“Both of us knew it was wrong,” Smith told police.
The two also exchanged sexually explicit photos via text messages. Smith said the inappropriate contact began in February.
It is believed to have continued until earlier this month.
Police say Smith admitted to taking advantage of the girl after she went to him for guidance.READ MORE: Police Release New Image Of Suspect Wanted In Penn Hills Shooting
“The motive is he appears to prey on a child that may be having some tough times,” said Resetar.
Smith was questioned and released pending the outcome of the investigation, but was picked up again after police found out Smith had a moving truck at his Belle Vernon home and was looking to skip town.
Police say this may not have been the first time Smith preyed on a youth in his church.
“We’re following another lead this may have transpired at a prior church out of state,” said Resetar. “Although no charged were filed.”
Smith is facing a list of charges including, aggravated indecent assault, child pornography, and corruption of minors.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4.
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