A former youth pastor in Lee County, who once hosted an event preaching purity to teens, has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl. The pastor led the spiritual lives of children at his church for months. He has been released from jail and faces trial this month.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jerred Colby Peacock, a former pastor at Living Waters Church in Estero, in October for sexual activity with a 16 or 17-year-old girl between March and August. He is scheduled to appear in circuit court Thursday, Nov. 13.
“It’s disgusting,” Marylou Gibson said. “It’s sad. No matter where you are, you’re not unaffected by something sad like this.”
The church told WINK News, Peacock left in May before the accusations were brought forward. This was after he had worked with dozens of children at the church.
“Taking your power and privilege on somebody like that just doesn’t make any sense to me,” Gibson said.
Peacock’s LinkedIn page shows he had completed leadership oversight of all children and youth ministries vision at Living Waters.
Peacock was released from jail on $100,000 bond back in October as well.
Living Waters told WINK News in a statement, “[They are] extremely saddened and express our deepest sympathy to any and all victims of sexual misconduct. All employees at [Living Waters Church] go through an extensive background check with character references.”
Dustin Lotz, a congregation member at the church, is looking for more evidence to be made public before he makes a personal judgment call on the actions the former pastor is being accused of.
“I don’t know anything about the facts,” Lotz said. “I know lately there’s been a lot of media, a lot of sexual accusations, so it’s hard … It’s really hard just to have a knee-jerk reaction to the news.”
Lotz and his family attend the church, and he is worried about how it may impact the congregation.
“If it is true, it’s not something that would be good for the church,” Lotz said. “It’s something they would have to talk against.”
Peacock’s attorney spoke to WINK News and said the allegations against his client are not true. He is “pretty convinced [Peacock] will be absolved of any wrongdoing in the end.”