Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former youth pastor seduced teen, Pasco petition says

He sent her three explicit photos of himself. He told her Jesus approved of their relationship. He even offered to leave his wife.

It was all part of the plan by youth pastor Scott Dewayne Wright to seduce an underaged girl, according to a sexual violence injunction filed against Wright last year in Pasco County.

The petition says Wright inappropriately touched the girl under her clothing, and used his fingers to penetrate her.

A week after the petition was filed Dec. 12, a judge ordered that Wright can't contact the victim in any way and must not come within 50 feet of her until the injunction expires in six months.

Wright, 35, was charged this week with two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He turned himself in to Pinellas authorities and is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Pinellas County Jail.

Authorities would not say whether the 16-year-old victim in the Pinellas arrest is the same person who obtained the injunction against Wright last year.

"All we know is one arrest in this particular case," said Cecilia Barreda, spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The person who applied for the injunction against Wright detailed his alleged pursuit of the young girl.

The petition says Wright asked the girl to go to a hotel room with him and begged her to have intercourse.

Wright also told the girl not to tell anyone about their relationship: "Just repent and ask Jesus for forgiveness," Wright told her, according to the petition.

Pinellas authorities handling the criminal charges say Wright met the 16-year-old girl in September 2006, when he was a youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Worship Center in New Port Richey. Wright befriended the teen in 2007, and they engaged in sexual activity at least twice in Palm Harbor between September and November, authorities said.

Sometime last year, the girl told a counselor about what happened, Barreda said, and the counselor told the girl's parents.Her parents called authorities in November of 2008, Barreda said.

During his stint as youth pastor, Wright oversaw Calvary Chapel's high school group called Reformation Youth Ministry, which had 250 members in 2005.

The teens gathered each week for fellowship and prayer. The kids called him Pastor Scott.

"We need to change what's cool and what's not," Wright said at a 2005 youth group event covered by the Pasco Times, in which he urged the teens to refrain from gossip, profanity and sexual conversations. "What's cool needs to be based upon the word of God."

The church's pastor, Bill Strayer, said little on Wednesday about Wright.

"It's in the hands of the Lord and the judicial system," Strayer said. "Justice will be served."

Wright left Calvary Chapel and served as youth pastor at The Crossing Church in Tampa from July 2007 until November 2008, Barreda said.

Wright was fired from that church, the petition says. The Crossing Church did not return a call Wednesday for comment.

Wright has a 16-year-old son with his ex-wife, and three children with his current wife. According to the petition, Wright feared the worst if the girl told anyone about their activities.

"Scott had her convinced that if she told on him he would go to jail," the petition says, "lose (his) job and family."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at or (813) 909-4609.

Former youth pastor seduced teen, Pasco petition says 04/01/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 8:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clearwater woman dies after losing control of SUV, flipping in Palm Harbor


    A Clearwater woman died early Tuesday morning when she lost control of her SUV and crashed in Palm Harbor, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue


    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former LSU/Countryside softball player AJ Andrews, now w/ Akron, is the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year history. (Courtesy of Rawlings)
  3. Bill Nelson Video: Talk to this Florida mom before you call Obamacare a failure


    Sen. Bill Nelson spoke on the senate floor about the health care reform debate, sharing the story of a single Florida mother trying to keep alive her daughter, kindergarten teacher Megan Geller, who died at age 28 in 2015 after a two-year battle with leukemia.


  4. Five ideas for party foods to bring to your potluck


    What's in a name? That which we call a casserole by any other name is still, well, a casserole. Generally a go-to for potlucks, casseroles are quick and easy to transfer, and they can feed a lot of people. But take a look at your next potluck table and count how many casseroles there are. You can change the game …

  5. Florida education news: School budgets, hiring freeze, new schools and more


    IN THE BOOKS: Gov. Rick Scott signs a new Florida Education Funding Program and several other education-related bills into Florida law. This year's new education laws …

    Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 7069 earlier in June, and on Monday added seven more education-related bills to Florida law.