SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. — A Shelby County youth pastor faces charges after a woman told police that he took her into his home when she was a teenager and groomed her.
The probable cause affidavit filed in the case against Jonathon Myers details how he took her into the home where he and his wife lived, snuck around, and groomed her into performing sexual acts. As he was grooming her, the document states he told her “it wouldn’t technically be sex.”
The victim told police the whole ordeal began when she was around 11-12 years old. She was attending a school directly associated with the church where Myers was a youth pastor. At the school, Myers was the principal.
The document states the victim told police that Myers and his wife began giving her a ride to church until her father asked her to stop going. When she was 14, she started going to the church again, with Myers and his wife resuming giving her a ride.
Eventually, Myers’ wife stopped joining these trips from the victim’s home to church. That is when the document states the victim believes the grooming began.
Instead of taking the girl directly home, the document states Myers would drive her around and talk for hours. While driving, he would place his hand on her leg.
The girl started staying the night at Myers’ home, as her parent’s residence was unlivable due to being damaged by a large tree that fell on it. The document said that while Myers’ wife was in the shower, he would pray with her in her room, rubbing her back.
As time when on, the victim said the inappropriate behavior started happening more often.
When the girl was just 15-16 years old, the document states Myers started turning inappropriate behavior into inappropriate sexual behavior. He would spend more time alone with her while his wife was asleep and touch her sexually while asking her to do the same. She told the police that he would provide her with medication on multiple occasions so that she would be awake when he came into her room while his wife was sleeping.
The victim told police that she eventually got angry with Myers, threatening to tell his father, the pastor of the church, about what he was doing. The document details that Myers begged her not to do so, saying he was going to kill himself. This happened while he was on an anniversary trip with his wife.
The document details that Myers took her to the same location he took his wife for that trip the first time he took the inappropriate sexual behavior to the next level. She told the police that Myers told her it wasn’t sex, as he didn’t move. Still, he bought the Plan B pill for her the next day.
At the time, the victim told police that she thought she was in love. That changed when she was 18.
The document states that she was working at a fundraiser with Myers at the church. At the time she had two phones. One of which he provided and told her only to contact himself and his wife. She also bought herself another phone, which she texted her boyfriend with.
She left her personal phone when she left the fundraiser and told police that Myers heard the ringtone and discovered the conversation with her boyfriend.
When she got back to the church, the victim told police that Myers was pacing in front of the building. The document details that he shut down the fundraiser and drove her to a secluded wooded area.
There, the document states he was sobbing and explained to the victim that “this is what he had to do,” and revealed two bullets that he was holding. Afraid of what he was going to do, the victim found Myers’ firearm inside his vehicle and threw it into the woods.
After that incident, the victim told police that he drove her to a truck stop where they had sexual relations. Police asked if it was consensual, to which she responded:
I was terrified and I did what I thought I had to do in order for no one to die that day. So although I didn’t say no, I’m not sure if that’s really consensual or not.
It wasn’t until the victim was 28 that she revealed this to the police. She gave them her diary, along with a romantic greeting card that she said he gave her during their relationship.
The document also states police searched the wooded area for the firearm and located it. The firearm was traced back to Jonathon Myers.
As a result of the investigation, Myers faces four counts of child seduction and four counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.