Maine State Police have arrested youth pastor Lucas Savage, 37, above, and charged him with sexual abuse of a girl under five.
According to this report, Savage is the youth pastor of Youth Haven Ministry. He was arrested on Friday evening in Mercer and taken to the Kennebec County Jail.
Detectives said the abuse took place at Savage’s home on Mutton Lane in Clinton. State Police have been investigating the allegations for the past month.
Members of the community revealed that he and his wife were heavily involved in the ministry, from church events to coaching youth soccer.
Said one Canaan resident, whose children attend the church:
It’s a fantastic church. Just because there’s one bad apple doesn’t mean the apple cider is rotten. I’m still trying to understand because he was such a loving and caring gentleman.
This report adds that Savage is co-director of Youth Haven Ministry and a member of Canaan Calvary Church, which has in the past financially supported his youth ministry but maintains a separate board of directors.
Said Kristine Rice, whose 11-year-old daughter participated in Youth Haven programmes and played soccer for Savage’s team through the Canaan Community Sports programme:
He was a decent guy. I trusted him with my daughter. I’m in shock over the whole thing.
Savage and his wife are among five staffers at Youth Haven Ministry, which was founded in 1987 to provide free programmes and Bible lessons to children and teens.
Said Jessica Howe, who attends church with Savage:
I hope somebody will take charge of it, because it’s still a great programme. It’s a place where the children can go to learn about the Lord. Somebody has to be out there that can do it.
Police, who have been investigating the allegations against Savage for about a month, are not sure whether there are other victims.