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Florida youth pastor accused of trying to have sex with 17-year-old church member

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Police have arrested a Florida youth pastor after they say he was trying to have sex with a 17-year-old church member.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 29-year-old Andrew Pierce Weaver who is a youth pastor at Highlands Church of Christ in Lakeland.

Officials began investigating after staff members alerted authorities that Weaver may have been engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl in his youth group.

Investigators discovered that the relationship happened over five months from September 2020 to January 2021.

Deputies said the victim told detectives that Weaver had been giving her informal guidance when they began discussing sexual fantasies.

“Instead of him being the adult in the room, he creates a relationship with a 17-year-old child,” Sheriff Grady Judd said during a press conference. “Did I tell you that he’s 29 and married and a youth pastor?”

The sheriff’s office said Weaver drove the teen to a hotel and were about to engage in sexual activity, but a hotel maid interrupted by knocking on the door. She did not enter the room, but the maid scared Weaver.

Deputies said the victim believed that had they not been interrupted, their sexual contact would have continued.

When interviewed by police, Weaver admitted that the had “crossed a line” with the teen and that he was closer to her emotionally than he should have been. He also told detectives that he struggles with impulse control.

Weaver was arrested and has been charged with attempted unlawful sex with a minor and interference with child custody. He is being held without bond.