Church Youth Group Leader Accused of Sending Sexual Messages, Naked Pictures to Teenage Church Member

JIM THORPE -- A man is facing child sex charges in Carbon County for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to a 14-year-old girl.

Kenneth Mays, 29, of Albrightsville was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Jim Thorpe.

Mays said only, “No comment,” when asked about the charges filed against him as he was led away from his arraignment.

Mays faces child sex charges. He's accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl in August 2016 then sending her sexual messages and naked pictures of himself for roughly a year.

“I'm just at a loss for words. I feel betrayed,” said the girl’s mother when speaking about what Mays had reportedly done.

She says she found out about Mays' behavior just last month.

“She was having a conversation with one of her friends, and I heard him ask her, ‘When are you going to tell your mom?' and I said, ‘Tell me what?’" said her mother whose name is not being released to protect her daughter’s identity. “And then everybody got quiet, so I knew right away that it was something major.”

The girl's mother says her family knows Mays through the Full Gospel Tabernacle Bread of Life Church near Effort in Monroe County where Mays' father is the pastor.

“I'm devastated. I've been involved with this church for three years,” she said. “My little guys go to daycare. My daughter and little guys go Wednesday nights. They go Sundays. Most of their time is spent at church.”

According to court paperwork, Mays was at the girl's home sometime in August 2016. Police say he hugged her and touched her backside over her clothes. Then for the next year, Mays sent Snapchat messages saying he wanted to have sex with her, that he loved her, and that he wished she was older.

He also sent naked pictures of himself to the girl.

The girl's mother says she had no reason to be suspicious of Mays.

“He was the youth group leader, Sunday school leader. They have a van. They go pick up the kids from the houses. I work all the time so they would come to my house and pick my kids up and take them to church.”

Mays could not post bail, so he's locked up in Carbon County. His next scheduled court date is January 18.

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