New judge sought in youth leader sex case
A hearing on a request for a new judge is set for Friday for a female former church youth group leader accused of having sex with a 15-year-old male group member.
Angela Hurt, 32, who was a part-time youth leader at Cornerstone Church in Springfield, was charged in November in Greene County Circuit Court with second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with the boy from January to March 2005.
A probable cause statement filed on Sept. 1, 2006, says police learned about the relationship after finding Hurt and the victim engaged in sexual activity in Maple Park Cemetery. The boy later said, according to the statement, that the two had been having sex since January or February 2005, often at Hurt's home in Springfield.
Hurt's trial is scheduled for July, but could be delayed if she is granted a change of judge. Her motion for the change does not state a reason.
The victim and his family have also filed a civil lawsuit against Hurt, Cornerstone Church, its pastor and other members of the church staff including Hurt's husband, Robert.
Jeff Gorman, associate pastor at Cornerstone, said he is confident the church will be vindicated if the suit reaches a jury. He also stressed that Hurt was a youth leader and not a youth pastor.
"Cornerstone Church had no knowledge of any illegal activities of a former youth leader, nor does it condone any of the allegations against the former employee. Any claim that Cornerstone Church was negligent in any way is without merit," Gorman read from a written statement by the church's attorney, Dee Wampler.