Matthew Everly, 25, of Bloomington, Illinois, faces 11 counts of child cruelty arising out of an incident in March this year when he allegedly broke both legs of his two-month-old daughter.
According to this report, Everly was, until recently, a pastor at the Eastview Christian Church in the town of Normal in McLean County.
The church’s senior pastor has declined to comment on Everly’s employment status or the situation that led to criminal charges.
The church has a bizarre header on its website:
Below the header it says:
Eastview is just a bunch of regular people who have messed up, blown it, failed and missed the mark more times than we’d like to admit. But we’ve found forgiveness, meaning and purpose for our lives in Jesus Christ. Because of this, our vision is to dedicate ourselves to Him and to passionately share our collective story with as many people as we can.
The baby, now two months old, is back in her mother’s care.
Everly posted a $25,035 cash bond and was released from the McLean County Jail.
Everly surrendered Monday afternoon in response to a warrant.
After Everly’s release, his defence lawyer Scott Kording commented:
Matt Everly is a wonderful and talented young man. The filing of these serious allegations visits great difficulty upon him and his family. In response, we ask that judgment be reserved until all the facts are known. He is innocent of these charges.
If convicted of the most serious charges, Everly is eligible for up to 60 years in prison on the felony charges.
On his LinkedIn page, which now appears to have been deactivated, Everly said he became pastor of senior high worship at Eastview in April 2013, and was hired as associate pastor of worship arts, a position he held for three years until he left the church in May.