Two pastors have been arrested in an undercover sting when they responded to ads to have sex with underage girls in Tennessee.
ChristianToday.com reports that Jason Kennedy, 46, was a children’s minister at Grace Baptist Church in Karns, Tennessee while Zubin Parakh, 32, was creative pastor at Lifehouse Church in Oak Ridge.
According to a police report, Kennedy responded via text to an ad offering sex with two underage girls. Kennedy agreed to pay $100 for the service, not knowing he was walking into a sting set up by law enforcement.
Kennedy reportedly went to the arranged meeting place, handed over the money, and removed his trousers. He was then arrested by police and charged with human trafficking and being a patron of prostitution.
Parakh was arrested in a similar situation.
Grace Baptist Church where Kennedy had been a pastor released a statement after his arrest:
"The children's pastor of Grace Baptist Church has been terminated as a result of an arrest in a police sting related to prostitution and human trafficking. The actions of the children's pastor for which he has been arrested were part of his life outside the church, and we have received no questions or concerns related to his conduct within the church or its ministries.”
"The children's pastor was hired two-and-a-half years ago,” the statement continues. “The church's background check turned up no issues that indicate any previous problem. In fact, the children's pastor in his application affirmed that he had no issues in his background of a criminal or other nature. We are praying for his family and will continue to provide the services of our ministry to them."
Both Kennedy and Parakh are due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 31.
Publication date: May 23, 2016