Ex-Wilson youth pastor pleads guilty to statutory rape
By Andy Humbles
March 14, 2016
|Christopher Ross, with his hands clasped in front of him, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.|
Photo by Andy Humbles
A former Lebanon youth pastor pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.
Christopher Douglas Ross, 44, was sentenced to six years — three years on each count to run consecutively — and was taken into custody after his plea in a Wilson County courtroom with the victim and her parents present.
Ross was initially charged with 10 counts of statutory rape by an authority figure in January 2015 while a pastor at Fairview Church, where he oversaw a youth group in Lebanon.
The Tennessean generally does not name victims of sexual assault. But in this case, the victim approached The Tennessean through the district attorney’s office about her willingness to speak out about her case.
Courtney Greene, now 20, was 14 when Ross began making advances that included a kiss on church property, according to the state's evidence against him. Sexual contact began when the she was 15 and Ross was 39, according to the state's evidence.
"I struggled with what is, quote, fair," Greene said of the plea deal. "It is a lot of closure."
Greene said Ross threatened to kill himself if she ever told anyone.
Her mother, Tammy Greene, brought the case to the Wilson County Sheriff's Office in December 2014 when she learned her daughter was struggling with a number of health issues that they believe were tied to the case.
Now, Courtney Greene is studying to be a therapist, is involved in a Christian-based girls ministry and hopes to write a book about what she's been through.
"The more I share I hear about other stories and how common these crimes are, and how they affect people years and years later," Courtney Greene said.
Ross' case had been set for trial April 26-27 before he pleaded guilty.