NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A trusted pastor in the Elm City, accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor, is out on bond.
Police say the victim was just 15 years old girl at the time. 59-year-old Walter Williams is facing six counts of sexual assault. He was arrested on Monday. The victim in all of this was a member of the church.
Pastor Williams founded the “Walk of Faith Church” in New Haven back in 1986. The victim tells police that Williams expressed interest in her a few years ago at a Memorial Day picnic.Related: New Haven pastor arrested on sex assault charges
Court documents reveal that’s when texting and calling began. The alleged sexual encounters happened between July 2015 and April of this year. The pastor says he thought the relationship was consensual.
The young girl’s mother says she discovered the relationship was going on after finding graphic messages on her daughter’s cell phone and Facebook page. People who live near the church were shocked to learn what reportedly happened.
“It’s always crowded. Always crowded. There about 30-40 cars be up in here and people they got the van, the van across the street pick people up. I mean they did a lot of good things. My man just made a hell of a mistake,” said Anwar Zaheer.
The victim told police that two of the sexual encounters happened inside the church. The others, allegedly at Williams’ home in Northford and at rental properties he owns.