A Fairlawn church leader accused this month of child sex offenses traded nude pictures of himself with a young teen and had sexual encounters with her in his vehicle and at a motel, according to a search warrant filed in the case.
Kevin Forrest Hite, 54, of Radford, the former operations director of the HeartCry Missionary Society, was arrested Oct. 8 on 10 felony counts of unlawful carnal knowledge of a child aged 13 or 14, and one felony count of taking indecent liberties with a minor by encouraging a child to send explicit material electronically. He is being held in the Western Virginia Regional Jail and has a preliminary hearing set for Jan. 7 in Montgomery County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
A news release that Christiansburg police issued after Hite’s arrest said he allegedly had a sexual relationship with a minor “over an extended period of time, beginning when the child was 13 years old.”
A search warrant filed in Radford, where investigators searched Hite’s residence in Windstream Court, said the alleged victim lived in Christiansburg when her interactions with Hite began. She told investigators that Hite asked her to send him nude pictures of herself, the search warrant said.
When she was between the ages of 13 and 15, Hite took her to different locations in Christiansburg for “a variety of sexual encounters,” the search warrant said.
The search warrant said that Hite was interviewed by police and admitted sending nude pictures of himself to the teen, receiving nude pictures of her, and reserving a motel room for them to have sex. Hite said he gave her a cell phone for her to use to communicate with him and paid for its service, the search warrant said.
The HeartCry Missionary Society, located in Fairlawn and supported by Christ Church, posted a statement on its website two days after Hite’s arrest. The statement did not name Hite but said “a deacon of our church, who was also an office administrator at HeartCry, was arrested for sexual misconduct with a minor,” then detailed how the misconduct was discovered.
According to the statement, the victim, now a young adult, told a church elder what had occurred years before. The elder “immediately directed the victim to speak with the authorities and accompanied the victim to the police station,” the statement said.
“He assured the victim that the elders, the church, and the entire staff at HeartCry would support, protect, and defend the victim,” the statement added.
The statement asked for prayers for the victim and her family, for the accused and his family, and for the church and its members and missionaries.
There was no reply Thursday to a phone message left on HeartCry’s office line.