Pastor Arraigned On Sexual Abuse Charges
Police Say Charges Involve Young Boy
WARREN, Mich. – A Warren pastor was arraigned on four counts of criminal sexual abuse after a teenage boy told police he was molested.
Christopher Settlemoir, 27, is the head pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Warren, as well as principal of the adjoining Antioch Baptist Academy near 13 Mile and Dequindre roads in Warren.
Warren police confirmed with Local 4 that Settlemoir was freed on a $1 million bond Saturday and then formally arraigned at Warren District Court Monday.
Settlemoir was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Police said there may have been two separate instances of rape and sexual contact over the course of several months.
"There may be other victims out there and that?s why I say today that they have to talk to their parents," said Warren police Commissioner William Dwyer.
Members returned Sunday to Antioch Baptist Church in Warren, where they learned the alleged victim is a member of that congregation.
"I am concerned about what's going on because I had a lot of respect for him," said congregate Roger Harbert.
The church released a statement Monday about the allegations.
"In order to protect both Pastor Chris Settlemoir and the Antioch Baptist Church, Settlemoir has been placed on administrative leave and has been relieved of all pastoral responsibilities. Antioch Baptist Church remains committed to reaching others with the gospel of Jesus Christ and will continue to operate as a place of worship in accordance with the laws of our state, nation and our God."
On Thursday, the mother of a 15-year-old boy presented to police text message evidence suggesting Settlemoir was having inappropriate relations with her son.
The boy is a student at the adjacent Antioch Baptist Academy.
Dwyer said police executed search warrants on Settlemoir?s home and at the church and found inappropriate pictures on his computer.
?We executed two search warrants Friday afternoon, the first search warrant was at his home, and there was evidence discovered there and I can?t go into detail. There was a laptop in addition to the other evidence take from the home and also at the church,? Dwyer said.
Police said there is substantial evidence to back up the allegations.
"I can tell you based on the search warrants, it may have occurred either place or both places,? Dwyer said.
Police said Settlemoir made admissions upon his arrest Saturday. Police said his admissions will come out in time.
Rosanna Morgan?s family owns the Ram?s Horn Restaurant next door to the church.
"Everyone that comes in here and I talk to them, they all like him,? Morgan said referring to Settlemoir.
Michelle Konig is a Ram's Horn waitress who has served Settlemoir and his family.
"I was shocked. I still don?t believe it. I don't believe it at all," Konig said.
Local 4 went to Settlemoir's house Saturday, but he had no comment.
A neighbor who did not want her name used told Local 4 that Settlemoir, who is married with children, is a good neighbor and friend.
She didn't know about the accusations.
"He's very nice, his family is very nice. I've met a lot of his family. Everyone at church seems to like him. I'm really surprised. I'd never think that of him," the neighbor said.
Kathleen Monroe lives right next door to Settlemoir and said she feels unsettled living next to him.
"We don't want children around him if that's what he does. He shouldn't be working at the church, either," Monroe said.
About 40 students attend Antioch Baptist Academy and the church has about 450 members.
Settlemoir 's name is well-known in the community in part because the pastor's brother, Ryan Settlemoir, was a Madison Heights police officer and died last year of swine flu virus.
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