Fifty-seven-year-old Greenville pastor accused of inappropriate relationship with teen
A 57-year-old Mercer County pastor is free on a $50,000 bond after being arrested for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with an underage teenage girl.
David Cox of Atlantic, Pennsylvania who turns 58 on Wednesday was charged last week with a felony count of corruption of minors, three misdemeanor counts of criminal solicitation, and unlawful contact with a minor.
The investigation by Greenville Police began in December when a woman found notes tucked into her teenage daughter’s bible.
According to court records, when Cox was a pastor at the Greenville First Baptist Church on Shenango Street, he conducted “therapy” sessions with the woman’s daughter from when she was fourteen years old to sixteen years old.
Some of the sessions took place in Cox’s office at his place of business, Greenville Tire, according to police. The teen said that when the two were in the office at the business, Cox asked her for a kiss. According to the police report, the teen refused.
The complaint included a transcript of one of the notes allegedly written by Cox:
"It is 2:30 AM and I'm looking forward to seeing you and your expressions and of course your hug. The truth is I would love to sit and hold you for a long time not just a moment. When I talked about cuddling up on the couch it was with you to watch a movie. I would love to spend time with you, but I know that would be hard. When this whole thing opens up and we have another prayer retreat maybe we can figure a way to meet up would that be good with you?"
According to police, every note was signed “Love ME”
The victim's mother told 21 News her daughter is traumatized.
"To break that level of trust is beyond heartbreaking," she said, "He took something so innocent and tried to strip that away."
The teen told police that the correspondence transitioned from notes to texts, and eventually late-night phone calls.
Police say Cox told the girl to delete the texts.
During a December interview with Cox, investigators say he said he “probably” wrote the letters and admitted that the dialogue was inappropriate.
Another hearing has been scheduled for Cox next month before a District Magistrate.
The victim's mother said in no way does she feel this situation represents the church.
"He does not represent a faith," she said, "He is a fallen man and he needs to be held accountable for what he did but he is not a church he is not faith."
Greenville First Baptist Church says they did not find out about this until a year and a half after Cox had left the church to open one of his own called Soloman Porch Church.
First Baptist sent the following statement to 21 News:
"The Leadership Team of the Greenville First Baptist Church are disturbed and severely disappointed as to the recent allegations and charges against former Pastor David Cox. The church Leadership had no knowledge of any misdeeds of wrongdoing towards any young person in the church during Mr. Cox's tenure. However, if there are any victims who have not spoken out about any inappropriate actions towards them by Cox during his time as pastor, we ask them to come forward and contact local authorities. We ask our church members, attendees, and other Christians to pray that God's will would be done in this situation and that anyone who has been harmed would be comforted and that the truth would be revealed and justice prevail."
21 News reached Cox by phone and he said he could not comment until he reaches his attorney for guidance.