Details; Midstate pastor accused of raping teenage church member

Fayetteville pastor charged with statutory rape in Coffee County


A Midstate church has changed its name and building sign after learning their former pastor is accused of raping a teenage church member.

Maurice Pugh was a pastor and trusted confidant of several families. He was also a convicted felon.

Pugh is accused of raping a 14-year-old member of the church. Police said he used his power as pastor to coerce the victim beginning in early 2014.

“It started out as inappropriate touching, contact, and it progressed to sexual acts,” said Manchester Assistant Police Chief Adam Floied.

Detectives said Pugh admitted in detail to having sex with the girl.

“He would pick her up from school or from home and would take her to church or to places in between church and her residence,” Floied said.

Pugh started his church in Fayetteville and called it Love Will Set You Free. When the congregation learned of the investigation, they held a meeting where several women, including the victim’s mother, reportedly came forward admitting they had sexual relationships and affairs with the pastor.

“It’s definitely a major violation of trust for this family and this entire congregation,” Floied said.

“It’s just hard for me to believe,” said Brenda Barnes, who lives across the street from the church. “It’s unreal.”

The church recently changed names and leadership.

“It’s bad,” Barnes said. “You feel for the children and you feel for the families that put their trust in him.”

Pugh is being held in the Coffee County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

TBI records show Pugh served three years in West Tennessee State Prison for felony cocaine and aggravated assault. He has been convicted for resisting arrest, criminal impersonation and fraud in Davidson County in the 1990s.

Copyright 2015 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Source: NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) Channel 4
Midstate pastor accused of raping teenage church member


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