WARSAW, Ind. (AP) — A church pastor told his Indiana congregation that he had committed “adultery” about 20 years ago, a disclosure that was followed moments later by a woman who stepped forward and said she was victimized by him when she was 16 years old.
The remarks were recorded on video Sunday at New Life Christian Church and World Outreach in Warsaw and posted on Facebook.
The Kosciusko County prosecutor’s office is investigating, WANE-TV reported. Prosecutor Daniel Hampton didn’t immediately return a message Monday seeking comment from The Associated Press.
Pastor John Lowe II told his congregation: “I committed adultery.”
“It was nearly 20 years ago,” he said. “It continued far too long. It involved one person and there’s been no other. I have no defense. … I sinned. I need to say that and you deserve to hear it.”
Lowe got a standing ovation. But then a woman walked up to the microphone with her story.
“It was 27 years ago, not 20. … I was just 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor. Do you remember that? I know you do,” she said.
She said the “lies and the manipulation have to stop.”
“I was a prisoner, and you kept me in your prison,” she said as Lowe stood near. “I’m a prisoner no longer.”
Some people then shouted questions at Lowe. He admitted having sex with the woman when she was a teenager.
“It was wrong. I can’t make it right,” Lowe said.
A few dozen people walked up to encircle and support him as another man led a prayer.
The church’s phone was unanswered Monday afternoon. The Associated Press left a voicemail message for Lowe seeking comment.
Lowe told the congregation that he was stepping down from his role as pastor.