Church volunteer charged with sex offenses

WATERS

An Elizabethtown man, who has been a volunteer at an Elizabethtown church working in youth ministry, was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with multiple sex offenses involving a teenager.

Timothy L. Waters, 39, was arrested and charged with three felonies.

Elder Ben Ashlock of The Driven Church in Elizabethtown said Waters had attended the church for about two years and had volunteered with the church’s youth about “one year, more or less.”

“He was a volunteer in a large group setting only,” Ashlock said. “He was not in a leadership role with the church, but he did assist with the youth for about a year.”

Waters was charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of third-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree rape — all Class D felonies punishable by one to five years in prison, if convicted.

“It’s tragic,” Ashlock said. “Nobody is more devastated by this than the church leadership. We’re heartbroken for all of the people who are heartbroken over this.”

Waters is being held in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond in the Hardin County Detention Center. He is scheduled to appear Dec. 18 in Hardin District Court.

According to an arrest citation, Waters was “in a position of authority” when he reportedly had sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl on multiple occasions.

Waters was arrested by Vine Grove police.

Vine Grove Police Chief Kenny Mattingly said his department became aware of a possible relationship when an officer saw Waters and a teen at a city park.

“It started here and we picked it up here,” he said. Mattingly said the teenager was interviewed which led to Waters’ arrest.

Mattingly said the investigation is ongoing.

“There could be more charges that come from the process of the investigation,” he said.

If Waters had sexual contact with any other minors, Mattingly encouraged them to contact their local police agency.

“Are there more victims out there? We don’t know,” he said.

Ashlock said Waters would not be allowed to return to the church to work with youth.

“We’re grateful to God that if someone is doing something wrong like this that they are caught,” he said. “We pray for the victim and are heartbroken for her.”

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.

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