Transcripts Appear to Show Pastor's Sex Talk with Teens


August 6, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hundreds of pages document sexual conversations allegedly between a pastor and teenage church members conducted over cell phone text messages.

Channel 4 obtained the court records in the criminal case against the Rev. Darrell Gilyard, former pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, who is facing charges of lewd and lascivious conduct.

The documents contain scores of text messages prosecutors said were sent to teenage girls from phones owned by Gilyard.

Gilyard has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the graphic phone messages.

Police say the case began last year when inappropriate text messages were found coming from Gilyard's phone. A supplemental police report said some of these text messages were documented in one of the accusers' personal journal.

Channel 4 reviewed 800 pages of evidence, including transcripts of hundreds of text messages and found many of them extremely graphic.

Some of the more tame messages included: "I love relaxin with u in that position." "I want u. I want u 2 b obsessed w/ me."

The police report narrative indicated that whoever was writing these texts knew the police could get involved. One message said: "One wrong move & im locked up."

One alleged victim told detectives that Gilyard questioned her about keeping a journal and told her, "Didn't I say not to write down anything?" She said he told her to get rid of the journal, and she did. Her mother, however, had already made copies of the pages.

Transcripts of text messages coming from Gilyard's phone obtained by subpoena from Virgin Mobile included even more explicit messages, like: "Are you easy? So any man can __ the ___ outta you." "Marry my ____. I'm serious. Call me cell and tell me. Lie on me and let my fingers explore..."

Channel 4's Scott Johnson described some of the text messages as full-on cyber sex over a cell phone.

The court records also contain Shiloh's disciplinary committee report.

Church leaders found "that Pastor Gilyard has acted irresponsibly through his interaction with these teenage girls and has put his ministry and Shiloh Metropolitan Church at risk both spiritually and financially."

The report also removed Gilyard from any counseling duties at the church.

The police investigation shows there were allegations that Gilyard inappropriately touched one teenage girl during a counseling session.

One girl said she was taken advantage of during counseling sessions. The police report said Gilyard laid her on the ground and began touching her over her clothing.

Investigators said counseling sessions involved something called a "faith game," during which Gilyard would catch the teenager after falling and give her "everlasting hugs."

According to the report, "She could feel that he was excited because he would be pressed against her when they were face to face."

In interviews with detectives, Gilyard defended his role as a counselor. According to the report, "He told the... family to look at the bigger picture." He claimed he got the girl to get better grades and go to class, so "it wasn't all bad."

But the police report also reported that Gilyard "admitted that some of the information in the journal was true and that he "may have gone over the top."

Gilyard is out of jail on bond awaiting trial. He has refused to comment on the allegations.


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