Pastor Who Allegedly Raped Underage Girl Said He Thought It Was Consensual, Tennessee Police Say

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — A Tennessee pastor is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl.

Citing a Newport police report, news outlets report that 46-year-old James “Ronnie” Messer was arrested Saturday night after the girl’s family reported him.

The girl’s sister told police the 17-year-old had gone with Messer to the Crossway Worship Center after their plans to go swimming fell through. The sister said the pastor led the teen through the centre’s rear entrance to a room, where he raped her.

Messer told police he thought the encounter with the underage girl was consensual.

Messer was released on bond on Tuesday. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

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