Man pleads guilty after alleged sex with girl
July 28, 2009
A church bus driver and former school employee pleads guilty after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17 year old girl. Officials say the relationship between the 45 year old former youth minister and the girl went on for several months in Bell County.
Richard Frank Shaw pleaded guilty to third degree unlawful transaction with a minor Tuesday afternoon in Bell County District Court.
Officials say Frank Shaw was a bus driver and former youth minister at Chester Avenue Baptist Church in Middlesboro. He admits to sneaking the 17 year old church member in and out of her grandparent's house several times.
"The victim says they did have sexual relations when they snuck out of the house on numerous occasions," says Bell County Attorney Neil Ward.
The county attorney says the two even had sex in the church.
"I believe he preyed on this girl's love for God and Christianity, and tried to tell her sneaking out of the house, and being with him, and being his friend, was somehow God's will," says Ward.
Officials say in emails the girl actually referred to Shaw as God himself.
"She referenced he is God and that when she looks at him she sees the face of God," says Ward.
After his plea, Shaw directed a statement right at his victim in the courtroom. He told the 17 year old that he didn't want to marry her, that he used her, and that he never wanted to see her again.
"I believe Mr. Shaw needed to set the record straight with her, that he doesn't love her, that he did use her, that it was his fault not her fault," says Ward.
Shaw must serve six months in jail, and then a two year probation where he has to move out of Bell County and can have no contact with the victim. If he violates that, he will have to serve another six months in jail.
Shaw declined our request for an interview Tuesday. We were not able to reach anyone Tuesday afternoon at Chester Avenue Baptist Church.
Officials say Frank Shaw worked as a custodian at Pineville Independent Schools. Superintendent Mike White says Shaw is no longer an employee. Officials say there are no allegations of abuse in the school system.
SNAP Note: Chester Avenue Baptist Church in Middlesboro is shown as a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.