Former Long Hollow Baptist Church intern arrested for statutory rape

Sumner County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE (6/9/19, 4:09 p.m.): The Sumner County Sheriff's Office has identified the suspect as 24-year-old Benjamin Widrick.

Widrick has been charged with three counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

He is currently being held in Sumner County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

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A former Long Hollow Baptist Church intern was arrested for statutory rape of a student last week, according to an official statement released by Pastor Robby Gallaty on Sunday.

Gallaty confirmed that the incident occurred last summer during the intern's 10-week service period as part of the church's student team at the Gallatin Campus.

The pastor said one of the student pastors first heard rumors regarding the situation in December and immediately informed local police, as well as the church's leadership team.

Gallaty said that the church was unaware of the outcome of the investigation until the Sumner County Sheriff's Department made the arrest last week.

"Regardless of the time and location, the fact is that an intern who was representing our church abused their position of influence with a student," Gallaty said. "That is unacceptable to us. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement in every way we can.

"Our primary concern right now is for the victim and her family. I spoke with them on Thursday, and we hope to support them with love, support, counseling, and prayer. Please join us in praying for them as well."

Gallaty confirmed that the suspect's employment ended in July 2018.

FOX 17 News will continue to update this story as it develops.

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