Kevin Forrest Hite, the former operations director of Fairlawn’s HeartCry Missionary Society, pleaded guilty Tuesday to child sex charges and was sentenced to serve two years and three months behind bars.
Hite, 54, of Radford, is the father of Radford City Councilman Forrest Hite, who also works at the missionary society as its data resource administrator. Reached after Tuesday’s hearing, the younger Hite said he did not want to comment on his father’s case.
A Montgomery County grand jury was scheduled next week to scrutinize 11 charges against the elder Hite and decide if the evidence was sufficient to try him in Circuit Court. Instead, Hite waived indictment and at a Tuesday hearing, pleaded guilty in an agreement that reduced most of the counts against him.
Judge Colin Gibb convicted Kevin Hite of 10 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, all reduced from unlawful carnal knowledge of a child aged 13 or 14, and also one count of taking indecent liberties with a minor.
Gibb imposed a sentence of 10 years in prison for the indecent liberties charge, with most of it suspended. The judge added a 12-month jail term for each count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, to run consecutively, and suspended all 120 months.
Kevin Hite’s attorney, Chris Tuck of Blacksburg, declined to comment after the hearing.
According to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Rachel Shrader’s summary of the case against Hite, an 18-year-old woman told investigators in October that several years earlier, she and Hite had a sexual relationship that lasted more than a year.
The woman said she met Hite after her family moved to Christiansburg in 2015 and began attending Christ Church, which is affiliated with HeartCry. The woman, then 13, said that she and Hite would see each other multiple times per week, prosecutors said.
She said they began exchanging electronic messages, which at some point turned sexual. The woman said that Hite asked her for a nude picture and that they then began trading nude images of one another.
Eventually, the woman said, Hite rented a vehicle so that no one would recognize his truck, and they met for sexual activity behind the Montgomery County Government Center in Christiansburg. Hite began taking her to several spots in Christiansburg for sexual activity, the woman told investigators.
The woman recounted how on Christmas Day 2017, she and Hite communicated by FaceTime, with Hite using his phone while naked in his shower.
She said that Hite took her to the Days Inn in Christiansburg so they could have sexual intercourse, and that they performed other sexual acts in his truck. Hite talked about leaving his wife and marrying her, the woman told officers.
According to the prosecution summary, the woman said the relationship paused at the end of 2018, then revived for another sexual encounter in the summer of 2019 when Hite took her to Claytor Lake. The relationship had ended by the time she turned 18, the woman said.
The woman gave investigators her phone. It contained more recent text messages in which Hite asked her to destroy evidence and mentioned having a suicide plan, prosecutors said.
The prosecution summary said that when investigators questioned Hite, he corroborated the woman’s story and gave a similar rundown of the events that made up their relationship. He told investigators that the physical part of their relationship began after the girl turned 15, prosecutors said.