Youth Minister Talks about Sex Abuse Accusations


August 1, 2008

A Bullitt County youth minister, once accused of sexually abusing a 15 year-old girl, says his name has now been cleared.

Now, Clayton Pruett says he just wants his life back to normal and a statement from the accuser's mother, admitting she lied.

"It didn't bother me that they accused me. It bothered me that people would actually believe this was true," Pruett said.

Last December, 25-year-old youth minister Clayton Pruett was arrested in Bullitt County, charged with sexual abuse. He was accused of taking advantage of his position at the church, by trapping a 15-year-old girl in a room, making in-appropriate comments and touching her in inappropriate ways.

"That's kind of what it felt like. This is a huge joke and then it wasn't too funny when two guys came and arrested me," Pruett said.

The alleged victim's mother went to police with her story and spoke with local media.

Pruett was put on voluntary administrative leave from the church and suspended from his position as a substitute teacher and assistant coach at Bullitt Central High School.

Then in January, the charges were dismissed.

But is wasn't over for Pruett. He decided to sue the alleged victim's mother for the statements she made about him, statements he says she's now taken back as part of a settlement to that suit.

The settlement order says the alleged victim's mother admits she made false statements to detectives, attorneys, and the media and Pruett committed no crime. She also agreed to pay damages to Pruett of an undisclosed amount.

So why does Pruett believe the accusations were made to begin with?

"I think it's because I had to discipline this girl repeatedly with her boyfriend," Pruett said.

Pruett says he can now try to put it all behind him but says there's one thing he'll never be able to change.

"I just kind of feel like there will be people that will never hear the truth and will always think that guy's guilty in the back of their mind," Pruett said.

Detectives say they will pursue charges against the mother for giving false statements to police.


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