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The wife of Wesley Blackburn, youth pastor at Faith Brethren Bible Church, told the New Paris church’s head pastor he had confessed to the relationship and asked for a divorce, senior pastor Jim Espenshade told WJAC-TV on Wednesday.
Espenshade and other church leaders immediately fired Blackburn, a 35-year-old father of five, and alerted police last week. He was charged Oct. 6 on hundreds of counts of statutory sexual assault and indecent assault.
“I don’t know this man,” Espenshade, 35, told the TV station. “The man that got arrested, I don’t know him. I was shocked, absolutely shocked. You work with him and you’re there and you’re thinking, ‘How could this happen? How could he do this?’”
Blackburn told a state trooper who found him packing his belongings at the church that he started having sex with the girl in March, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown. He admitted he fathered the girl’s child, the affidavit showed.