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Youth pastor jailed for sexual relationship with teen

A 43-year-old former youth pastor at Calvary Chapel church in Longview, Washington has admitted to having sex repeatedly with a teenage girl between 2008 and last month, according to court documents filed by Kelso police.

Michael Louis Anthony reported himself to Kelso police April 13 and was booked into jail Friday. He was held Tuesday on $150,000 bail in the Cowlitz County Jail on suspicion of third-degree child molestation, third-degree rape of a child and second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor.

Police said Anthony, who is married and has two children, served as the girl's "spiritual teacher, counselor and confidant." The girl, who was 15 when the sex began, and Anthony told police they had sex too many times to count and that they did so in churches, Anthony's Kelso home, Gerhart Gardens Park and other places.

During a routine patrol, Longview police officer Ken Hardy found Anthony and the girl inside a van parked at Gerhart Gardens on Feb. 25, the police report said. Anthony's shirt was off and the girl's shirt was "half way up," but Hardy "could not determine (whether) a crime occurred," the report said.

The girl told Hardy that Anthony was her youth pastor, the police report said. Hardy contacted Calvary Chapel pastor Al Fredrich, who said he fired Anthony in September at the request of Anthony's wife, the report said. Police said Anthony's wife wanted him to quit working at the church "so he could work on his marriage."

Police said Fredrich met with Anthony April 11. Anthony admitted during the meeting to having sex with the girl, the report said. Fredrich, who described himself as Anthony's friend, threatened to tell the police if Anthony didn't confess to authorities.

Fredrich declined to comment on the situation Tuesday, saying Anthony "hasn't been to our church in, like, seven months."

"This whole thing is hard," he said. "We're trying to put together a hurting family right now."
Asked whether he was talking about Anthony's family or the victims' family, Fredrich said he was referring to both.

Anthony and the victim both told police the sex was consensual. Anthony told investigators the girl's parents "were aware of the relationship and to his knowledge they had not reported it to the police," according to the police report.

Anthony's resume on LinkedIn.com, a social network for professionals, said he served as Calvary Chapel's youth pastor from August 2006 to September. His job, according to the online profile, was to "prepare lessons and sermons, supervise and mentor adolescents and teens and counsel families."
He served as Youth Services Director of the Flying H Youth Ranch in Naches, Wash., from May 2003 to July 2006, the resume said. Before that, he worked for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and served in the Army National Guard.

Anthony told police he first kissed the girl in October 2008 as she helped him pack to move from a church parsonage in rural Rainier to a home in the 600 block of fourth Avenue in North Kelso.

Anthony said the girl first initiated intercourse with him inside the Delena Baptist Church, Rainier, where Calvary Chapel had been offering youth programs. They had sex again a month later when the girl came to his home to visit his daughter, the report said.

He said he recently told his family and friends about his conduct and "felt the need to confess to law enforcement" as well, the report said. Anthony told police he was aware of the girl's age because of his duties as youth pastor.

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