On Thursday, a former youth pastor pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual battery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison after sexually abusing a teenage girl who was a member of the church where he volunteered.
The abuse began when Brian Mitchell, 31, began sending text messages to the teen, who was 16 at the time. The conversation quickly turned into complaints about his marriage.
The girl said that she was uncomfortable with the messages but was afraid to tell him to stop because he was such a respected member of the Columbia Road Baptist Church in North Olmsted.
Then, in August of 2015, Mitchell kissed the teen after driving her home. He then began to sexually abuse her, and this continued for months as she became depressed and lost all interest in activities that she used to enjoy.
“I did not give him permission,” the girl said. “I clearly said ‘no, didn’t want to.’ I felt like he tricked me.”
Church leaders spoke to Mitchell the day after learning about the sexual abuse before speaking to police, but the girl’s mother said that they still told her not to return to church until she had apologized to Mitchell’s wife for putting Mitchell in “an adrenaline- and lust-filled situation.”
“Your delusional excuse — that there were emotions and love involved — is troubling,” said Judge Patrick Corrigan. “That’s extremely delusional.”