The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 1:00 am

Youth pastor accused of sex with teen

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

The girl was only 14 years old when her youth pastor initiated a sexual relationship with her, according to court documents.

Her youth pastor, Anthony Rismo Gualtieri, 48, would rent hotel rooms where the two had their sexual encounters until early 2019, after he'd already been transferred to Jeffersonville, the documents said. 

Gualtieri was charged Monday with four counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of child seduction where the defendant has a professional relationship with a child and engages in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct. 

Gualtieri was the youth pastor at Faith Baptist Church on Trier Road when he expressed “deep feelings” for her and their first encounter took place in early 2015, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The victim's sister said the victim told her they had sex in hotels, at Gualtieri's house, at the church and in other cities after he transferred. 

The victim, who reported the relationship to the police in May, estimated she and Gualtieri had 100 sexual encounters during the relationship. 

Gualtieri told her not to tell anyone or he would hurt himself, according to court documents. 

Those threats were recorded when Faith Baptist's pastor, Joseph Marden, called Gualtieri, who admitted he was in a sexual relationship with an underage girl. A female witness sent the recording to police. 

Gualtieri asked Marden and the witness not to tell anyone and made suicidal threats. Gualtieri then claimed “the age of consent is 14 to 16,” police said. Gualtieri said he was going to the local police to turn himself in and that the relationship was “not about the sex, it was an emotional connection.” 

Gualtieri never showed up for his police interview, court documents said. 

At the end of July, the victim brought in five pairs of women's panties Gualtieri had given her, court documents said. 

On the church's website, there is an undated message: 

“On behalf of the Faith Baptist Church family, congregants, staff, and members, the leadership of Faith Baptist Church of Fort Wayne are praying for accountability, healing, and justice in light of the recent arrest of Anthony Gualtieri, who served as the Church's youth pastor from 2012 to 2018. Faith Baptist Church takes the allegations against Mr. Gualtieri very seriously, and leadership will fully cooperate with law enforcement in connection with all investigations.” 

A warrant was issued for his arrest.

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