Fox 4 has reported an arrest on a youth pastor at the Wesley United Methodist Church located at 350 S Barfield Dr, Marco Island, FL 34145.
Police Department arrested 26-year-old Christopher Jaime Reyes for sending and requesting explicit texts with a minor for three years. Reyes, a youth pastor at the church from 2016 and 2021. On multiple occasions over the three years, he would request nude photographs of the victim. He would also send nude pictures of himself to her. He also tried to arrange to meet up with the minor several times.
Reyes, who was put on administrative leave from the church, is facing charges that include the transmission of material harmful to minors by electronic device or equipment and soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct using computer services or devices.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard fights for justice for victims of church sex abuse. He often represents victims and their families in private civil lawsuits in the state of Florida. In the below commentary, Michael provided insight into victims' legal rights if sexually abused by a youth pastor.
"Churches have a legal obligation to their congregation to ensure the safety of its members. Lately, several religious leaders have been accused of sexual abuse, indicating that congregation members are being exploited throughout religious institutions. Unfortunately, this type of abuse can occur to people of all ages, including vulnerable children. Churches are expected to do everything in their power to prevent and protect their members against sexual abuse. This can include conducting background checks on members of the clergy, installing cameras throughout the property, and investigating any reports of misconduct."
"If a youth pastor had past sexual misconduct allegations made against them, and the church neglected to undertake a comprehensive investigation, it could be considered negligent and held accountably. Additionally, if a religious institution failed to implement proper safety measures, it could be deemed negligent. Victims sexually abused by a youth pastor should be aware that in circumstances of negligence, they may be able to file a lawsuit that could recover financial compensation. As with any sexual abuse claim, victims are urged to gain the counsel of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer."