An area youth pastor is being charged after police say he sexually assaulted a girl at their church.

Brian Cassidy, 33, of Park Hills, is charged with a class A felony of statutory rape in the first degree and a class B felony of child molestation in the first degree.

According to a probable cause statement, on Dec. 15 an Children's Advocacy Center interview was conducted with a girl less than 17 years old. During the interview she said she was having a relationship with Cassidy, a youth pastor at the First Baptist Church in East Bonne Terre.

She described the relationship as sexual and said she had sexual intercourse with him on two occasions and that he also touched her inappropriately on a regular basis. She said it all started shortly after her 13th birthday.

The first incident took place inside the church and the second time was in a field near the young girl’s home in Ste. Genevieve County. She also said he tried to force himself on her in other ways, but was unsuccessful.

The girl told the caseworker that at the time, another girl, who would have been 15 years old at the time, also had a sexual relationship with Cassidy. She provided screenshots of Facebook messages showing her attempt at blackmailing him.

On Jan. 23, an officer with the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department contacted the other girl and was able to get new information for the case. He talked with the teen and she said she remembered two years ago she and the young girl snuck out of the girl’s grandmother’s house and met Cassidy.

She said they sat in his car and talked with him for a long time. The detective texted her a photo of Cassidy and she identified him. She also described the car he had at the time.

She recalled how the other girl was upset at the time because Cassidy allegedly had some form of cancer. The officer asked if she recalled the other girl ever saying she was through with Cassidy and that she could have him.

The teen remembered the young girl saying something about that in reference to Cassidy raping her. She also spoke of a time the young girl was at her house and they were having a “really deep conversation.”

The young girl told the teen she snuck out to see Cassidy and something happened. When she started to elaborate, her grandmother called to have her come home. She said this was around the time the girl was worried about him having cancer.

The teen added a short time later the girl severed all contact with Cassidy because he had a wife and she started dating someone The officer reported that after the phone call ended the teen started texting more information about the night the two girls snuck out to meet Cassidy.

She said they were hanging out in his car, but then got out to smoke. While sitting on the hood the teen said it was cold and Cassidy gave her a blanket. Both girls cuddled under the blanket and after a while Cassidy had them pick out a knife.

The teen said she picked out the white one because it was pretty and he also gave her a Batman toy he said she could keep. The teen said she didn’t think much of it at the time.

The next day the officer sent a text to the teen stating he had information that she sent Cassidy nude photos. The teen confirmed that she most likely did, but didn’t get any from Cassidy. She added she sent nude photos of herself to numerous boys/men during that time in her life.

That same day, the St. Francois County detective working the case was able to pull information off the young girl’s phone after the Ste. Genevieve County officer brought it to him. The detective found screenshots from a conversation with Cassidy on July 14 where the young girl attempted to blackmail him by threatening to tell about him raping her. The detective noted that in this conversation Cassidy makes numerous incriminating statements in reference to their sexual activities.

He also made an incriminating statement in reference to the sexual contact in the church where he reportedly had sex the girl the first time. He said to remember the church thing wasn’t just his decision and he has always regretted and felt bad for any wrong-doings.

Cassidy is being held in the St. Francois County Jail on a $150,000 bond

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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