Police: Former Virginia youth pastor charged in more than 20 sex crimes

WUSA9 [Washington, DC]

July 21, 2022

By Brittney Melton

A 61-year-old former church leader is facing over 20 charges for multiple sex crimes, including the sexual assault of a child, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

A family member informed the police department in June 2022 that the victim was sexually assaulted by a member of Saint Matthews United Methodist Church in Annandale. The member, later identified by detectives as Thomas Weaver, had periodically been a leader in youth activities but hadn’t held that position since 2020. 

According to detectives, on multiple occasions since 2020, Weaver coerced the victim to meet him in a secluded area in Annandale. Once there, Weaver allegedly sexually assault the victim.

Detectives conducted a search warrant at Weaver’s home on Wednesday where they found numerous images of child pornography.

Weaver was arrested and charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography and five counts of indecent liberties of a minor by a custodian, police said. He is being held without bond at the Adult Detention Center.

“Saint Matthews United Methodist Church has been fully cooperating with the police on this matter,” the police department said in a news release. “The church also notified the Fairfax County Child Protective Services with concerns about Weaver.”

The St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church released the following statement about the arrest:  

“St. Matthew’s UMC is saddened and deeply troubled by this event. Our fervent prayers and heartfelt concerns go out to those directly impacted by the situation and for whom this is a troubling, triggering event.

 St Matthew’s UMC is fully cooperating with law enforcement on this important matter. We urge anyone who may be able to aid law enforcement on this case, or who knows of any inappropriate actions towards children, to immediately contact law enforcement.

St. Matthew’s UMC has rigorous child protection policies and is completely committed to having a safe and secure environment for all children.”

Detectives believe there could be additional victims as Weaver could of worked at other churches in the past. The police department is working to identify any additional locations of employment.

This is an active and ongoing investigation.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the case or believe Weaver had inappropriate contact with them or their child to please call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-8477, and by web.