Church Youth Leader Charged In Alleged Relationship With Minor

Posted at 3:59 PM, Jun 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 01:26:29-04

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. – A church youth leader has been arrested and charged after an investigation into allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

Officials said they took 36-year-old Ryan Christopher Mathews into custody and charged him Wednesday with sexual battery by an authority figure and exploitation of a minor by electronic means.

Mathews had been at a church camp in Knoxville where authorities were given information regarding him and the child.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation along with investigators with the Knoxville Department of Children’s Services.

Authorities said enough evidence was found of the relationship to charge Mathews.

Mathews said he was a youth leader and song leader at Freedom Hill Bible Methodist Church in Ethridge.

Officials said more charges were possible in the case. Mathews was being held at the Lawrence County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond.

Anyone with information on this relationship or further details about Mathews has been urged to contact investigators at 931-762-1608 or the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department at 931-762-3626.