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Tampa youth pastor charged with sexual battery on girl

Posted at 7:29 AM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 07:29:10-04

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A Tampa youth pastor is facing sexual battery charges after authorities say he had sex with an underage girl.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports in a news release that 26-year-old Samuel Sutter was arrested Saturday and charged with five counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim aged 12 to 16 and five counts of sexual battery.

Authorities say Sutter began a relationship in October with a girl who attended Openwater Church, and the relationship escalated into numerous sexual encounters at Sutter's home and twice in the church's bathroom.

The release says the girl's mother called police after she found evidence of the relationship and confronted her daughter about it.

Sutter remained jailed Monday on $100,000 bail. Jail records didn't list an attorney.

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