Pastor charged after teen says he raped her while she was impaired

Monte Lavelle Chitty, 62, is senior pastor of First Baptist Marathon in Florida.
Monte Lavelle Chitty, 62, is senior pastor of First Baptist Marathon in Florida. | YouTube/First Baptist Church; Monroe County Sheriff

A Florida pastor who recently started a dockside ministry for a boating community in Boot Key Harbor has been accused of getting a 15-year-old girl drunk and sexually assaulting her while she was impaired.

The pastor, 62-year-old Monte Lavelle Chitty of Marathon, who leads First Baptist of Marathon, has been charged with sexual battery of a minor, lewd and lascivious conduct and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said.

Police said in a release Monday that the allegations against the pastor were first reported by an anonymous caller who overheard the teenager telling an adult that she had been raped.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“The caller said the girl and her grandmother had boarded a dinghy and headed out into the harbor. As deputies attempted to find the victim, communications officers received a second call from the suspect, Monte Chitty, who is the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Marathon,” the release said.

“Chitty said he believed he was about to be accused of something and he wanted to get ahead of it. He said a young girl at his church had been drinking and had passed out on a couch in the library of the church. He said he helped her to lie down on the couch but did not touch her after that.”

Police contacted the teenager on a boat where she lives, and she told them that the pastor gave her alcohol which might have been “spiked.”

“She said she immediately began to feel weak and lost consciousness. She said when she woke up, she found Chitty sexually molesting her,” the release said.

Investigators later found text messages between the teenager and the pastor where he “made reference to having sexual relations with the girl while she was impaired.”

The pastor was subsequently arrested and booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. The sheriff’s office disclosed that Chitty had volunteered his services as a pastor last April but he was never called to provide any services for them.

According to a deleted report on the website of the Florida Baptist Convention, before moving to Marathon, Chitty and his wife served 10 years in ministry in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and several years in Texas and Nevada.

They had planned to retire, but several weeks after he started attending First Baptist Church Marathon he became the lead pastor.

Several months ago, he started leading a dockside service for boaters on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. in Boot Key Harbor where many of the locals live on their boats.

“People need Christ,” he said of the ministry which averaged about 20 people weekly. “Regardless of where you’re serving, people need Christ. I have served in the most northwest point of the United States to the most southeast point, and people need Christ.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.