Married Tennessee pastor, 46, is accused of raping 17-year-old girl at worship center

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A Tennessee pastor has been accused of raping a 17-year-old girl.

Citing a Newport police report, news outlets report that 46-year-old James ‘Ronnie’ Messer was arrested Saturday night after the girl’s family reported him.

The girl’s sister told police the 17-year-old had gone with Messer to the Crossway Worship Center after their plans to go swimming fell through. 

The sister said the pastor led the teen through the center’s rear entrance to a room, where he raped her.

Messer told police he thought the encounter with the underage girl was consensual. 

Messer was released on bond on Tuesday.

It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer. Messer is married and has children. 

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