UPDATE: Youth pastor released on bond after being arrested for sending sexually explicit texts to teen

BELLEVIEW, Fla. (WCJB)-- UPDATE: Youth Pastor Christopher Patrick has been released on a $4,000 bond after being arrested for sending sexually explicit texts to a 15-year-old girl, who happens to be a member of the church's youth program. Officials said the victim was not cooperative as an attempt to protect Patrick.

“She had feelings for him and so she said that she was going to protect him per se, and so she was not very forthcoming with our investigation," stated Lauren Lettelier, MCSO Spokesperson.

Patrick has been charged with obscene communication using a computer, soliciting and luring a child, and cruelty towards a child by transmitting harmful information to a minor.
______________________________________________________

Deputies with the Marion County Sheriff's have arrested 30-year-Christopher Patrick after they say he sent sexually explicit texts to a 15-year-old girl.

Deputies say that "Pastor Chris" helped to run a youth program at Grace Baptist Church, and began texting one of the members of that program.

In a press release, MCSO says that a parent of a child in the church's youth program heard that Patrick was sending explicit texts to one of the other children in the group. That parent notified a resource officer with a local high school, who started an investigation that led to getting the victim's phone records.

They say that Detectives found messages from Patrick telling the 15-year-old to deny the accusations and to change his name in her phone to make it seem like she was talking to someone else.

Patrick was arrested Tuesday morning, Feb 12, where he denied knowing anything about the texts.

Patrick has been charged with obscene communication using a computer, soliciting and luring a child, and cruelty towards a child by transmitting harmful information to a minor.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office says it is possible Patrick has additional victims, and to please contact Detective Evans at (352) 368-3535 if you have any information.