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USA Weekend

Click here for Home Page The SUN

Youth pastor charged with molestation
By Lynette Meachum, Sun Staff

The girl he's accused of having sexual relations with is a 15-year-old member of his youth group.

A youth pastor at a South Kitsap church has been charged with third-degree child molestation, alleging he had sexual relations with a 15-year-old member of his youth group.

Cecil Gregory Foust, 40, a youth pastor at South Park Assembly of God, was arrested Feb. 1. He pleaded innocent at his arraignment Friday.

The alleged relationship began during a youth group trip in December, Kitsap County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jim Harris said. They allegedly had sexual contact on several occasions. Those contacts occurred in the church van when he drove her home, Harris said.

The girl's mother told authorities Jan. 14 that she suspected an inappropriate relationship between the two.

A Child Protective Services caseworker interviewed the girl, who said the two had engaged in oral sex and fondling, according to court papers filed in connection with the charge.

Foust entered the ministry in 1994, defense attorney Tim Kelly said at Friday's arraignment. He began working at South Park Assembly of God in March 1998.

A church board member who attended the arraignment Friday said Foust will be welcome to continue living at the parsonage with his wife and children, should he post bail. Church officials declined to comment further.

Superior Court Judge Judge Terry McCluskey set Foust's bail at $10,000.

Third-degree child molestation indicates the victim is between the ages of 14 and 16. If Foust is convicted, he will be required to register as a sex offender, Deputy Prosecutor Claire Bradley said.

Detectives are in the process of interviewing other young church members. Church parents are encouraged to talk with their children and contact Detective Dave Anderson at (360) 337-5619 if they have cause for concern, Harris said.

"We will be investigating further to determine if there's been other problems," Harris said.

Sun reporter Travis Baker contributed to this story.

Published in The Sun: 02/05/2000


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