Springhill pastor tried 'to touch me,' testifies girl, 12
By Liz Zemba
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
A 12-year-old girl — so small only the top of her head was visible as she sat in a witness box — testified on Tuesday that a Fayette County pastor took her into a woodshed in Springhill, where he tried to touch her inappropriately.
“He would try and touch me in places I didn't want touched,” the girl said during a preliminary hearing for Ray Scott Teets, 66. “I would hit him and tell him no, that's not right.”
Following the hearing, Masontown District Judge Randy Abraham held Teets for trial on charges of attempted indecent assault, unlawful restraint, interference with custody of children, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, concealment of the whereabouts of a child, child luring, stalking and defiant trespass.
Teets initially was charged with indecent assault, but Assistant District Attorney Mark Mehalov amended the complaint.
The Tribune-Review does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault.
Teets, who the girl's mother identified as the pastor at Fallen Timbers Community Chapel in Springhill, did not testify. After the hearing, he said he is innocent of the charges.
The girl's mother testified that she, her four children and fiancé attended the church for about a year. The mother said she became uneasy when she noticed Teets giving her daughter, who was then 11, “special attention.”
“He liked to talk to her in private,” the mother testified. “I started to feel (the talks) were inappropriate. I told him they were to stop.”
The mother testified that Teets began to insist that the girl and her siblings be allowed to stay at the church after services without her or her fiance present. The family left the church in the late summer or fall of 2012, when Teets demanded the children be permitted to stay for a church function without the two adults present.
“He would not let me take the kids,” the mother testified. “We had a confrontation.”
Her fiancé testified that during the confrontation, he told Teets and other church members to stay away from the children and to stay off their property.
The girl testified that after the confrontation, she called Teets once to ask him to pray for her. In the days after the call, Teets showed up uninvited several times in her yard and on two occasions tried to assault her in the woodshed, she said.
On a third occasion, Teets gave her a piggyback ride, the girl testified. She said she did not tell her mother about the incidents because she was afraid she would “get in trouble.”
When a neighbor showed the mother security camera footage of Teets taking the girl into the woodshed, the girl testified, she told her mother of the attempted assaults.
“I figured that telling the truth was the right thing to do,” she said.
The girl said Teets had told her he was not concerned about the cameras. “He said he didn't care,” the girl said. “He said he didn't care if he got in trouble.”
The footage shows Teets and the girl entering the woodshed twice and depicts Teets giving the girl a piggyback ride on a third occasion.
Teets said after the hearing he took the girl into the woodshed because “it was cold outside.”
The girl's mother said she was “tickled to death” the charges against Teets were held over for trial.
“I'm very, very angry at him still,” the mother said. “It's been tough on my daughter. She still has nightmares, and she still screams in her sleep.”
Three women who attended the hearing in support of Teets declined comment.
Teets was returned to the Fayette County Prison, where he has been held since Nov. 21 in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- City seeks to join regional enterprise zone
- Rural King Supply confirms store opening in Dunbar Township
- Uniontown man acquitted of rape charge
- Clinton Church of God to hold fish fries
- Connellsville FRIENDS hosting book sale Saturday
- Connellsville Ministerial Association kicks off Lenten luncheons
- Perry Township over projected winter budget
- 2013 was a challenging year for Highlands Hospital
- New name, new energy for Connellsville fitness studio
- Connellsville residents, business owners explore human rights panel
- Connellsville Area brings ‘Shrek’ to life