A former church volunteer has been charged with sexually molesting a male juvenile who attended services at the church.
According to a Metro police arrest affidavit, Brian “Lance” Mitchell, 30, admitted to fondling the then 10-year-old boy in the bedroom of his apartment in 2007.
In a news release issued late Tuesday afternoon, Metro police said shortly after Mitchell's alleged criminal actions, he sent the boy inappropriate text messages.
The child's mother showed the messages to staff members at Cornerstone Church in Madison, who removed Mitchell from the youth program, according to the report.
In an interview earlier Tuesday, church officials said Mitchell, a sound engineer, was contracted to run the church's soundboard.
Executive Pastor Dana Lawson told Nashville's News 2 the boy was in the children's ministry at the time.
Lawson said the victim's mother wanted to find a mentor for her son in Mitchell but soon became suspicious of the pair's relationship.
“When we brought Lance in to talk to him. We said [the boy's] mom has expressed some concern regarding the level of communication that you're having with her child. We just simply asked him to stop [and have no] further communication with him,” Lawson explained, adding, “We're extremely, of course, upset for the child. That's a given.”
Church officials said Mitchell hadn't been seen church in at least two years.
However, police said the victim, who is now 14, recently visited the church and saw him from a distance.
His recollection of events five years ago resulted in a forensic interview in early March at the offices of Nashville Children's Alliance.
Mitchell became the subject of a criminal investigation based on statements made during that interview.
Mitchell was arrested Monday after he admitted to sexually fondling the child in the late summer or early fall of 2007, according to the arrest affidavit.
He told police that he believed the victim had fallen asleep when he began rubbing the victim's buttocks for several minutes during which time he got an erection.
Mitchell was charged with aggravated sexual battery and booked into the Metro jail on a $50,000 bond.
Mitchell remains under investigation and additional charges against him are possible, police said.
Anyone with complaints concerning criminal activity during Mitchell's association with the church youth program is urged to contact Metro's sex crimes unit at 615-862-7540.
Prior to his arrest, Mitchell was residing at the Union Rescue Mission and was working in the kitchen of a local hospital.
His arrest history reflects a conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor in 2003.