PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The man who says a former Pasco County youth pastor sexually abused him when he was a teen is now telling his story.
Jonathan Kendall, who’s now 27, says Jermiah Smith, the former youth pastor at Hudson First United Methodist Church, repeatedly sexually abused him when he was a teenager in 2009.
Smith was arrested earlier this year and investigators say they have a recording of him confessing.
Kendall announced Thursday he’s suing the church, Smith and the church’s conference.
The church sent News Channel 8 the following statement:
“It would not be appropriate for the Florida Conference or First United Methodist Church, Hudson, to make any comment as to ongoing litigation.”
Smith’s attorney contacted News Channel 8 and said the alleged acts in the criminal complaint happened when Kendall was 18 years old, not 17. And says everything alleged, didn’t actually happen.