Former Woodlands youth pastor won't face charges in 1998 teen sex assault

Former Woodlands youth pastor won't face charges in 1998 teen sex assault

Former Woodlands youth pastor won't face charges in 1998 teen sex assault

"The atmosphere was very flirtatious".

'That flirtatious environment continued to move forward, which led to us making out, some heavy petting. It was a very mutual, spontaneous, physical moment.

Woodson insisted to WMC Action News 5, however, that Savage is lying about how he handled the incident.

'That entire radio show was a total re-victimization, pointing the blame on a then teenage girl who he said was a willing participant, ' Smith said.

But despite the freaky response by his congregation, Highpoint Church has finally issued Savage a leave of absence, effective immediately, Chris Conlee, the church's lead pastor said in a statement on Thursday night as reported by CNN.

Chris Conlee went on to say that the church is standing by Savage's side.

"Please know that we support Andy as a leader of our church, but we also understand this has been a hard season not only for Andy and his family, but for our congregation as well", Conlee said in his statement.

Conlee also said that a third-party organization has been hired to audit the church as well as Savage's ministry.

"We want to maintain trust in both Andy and our church leadership that we are not only doing things right, but we are doing right things". Highpoint is also procuring the services of a "qualified, independent, third-party organization" to investigate Savage's ministry and the church itself.

Conlee said that when the audit is finished, "we will continue to support Andy and his family".

Woodson left and Savage right CBS NEWS
Woodson left and Savage right CBS NEWS

The church has not said whether the leave will be paid. "You have to take this to the grave with you.' He said that several times", Woodson said. She also alleged that the leaders at the Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church -- which is now called Stonebridge Church -- covered up for Savage and never reported it to the authorities.

She was 17 at the time.

Woodson, said Savage turned down deserted road, unzipped his trousers, took his penis out, and asked her for oral sex.

The woman writes that he drove past the turnoff for her house and instead drove down a dirt road with a promise of a surprise.

"I am a grown woman now and although it's been nearly 20 years since everything happened, it still affects me to this day", she wrote. 'I assumed we were going to get ice cream'.

Instead, she said, he turned off the car's lights and asked her to perform oral sex on him. "I was scared and embarrassed, but I did it", she wrote. I remember feeling that this must mean that Andy loved me, ' she writes. "I did. He started touching over my bra and then lifted my bra up and began touching my breasts".

At the end of his apology, he received a standing ovation and applause.

She writes that the church's leadership tried to treat the incident as water under the bridge - until she worked up the courage to tell more people, which eventually prompted Savage to leave the church due to a "poor decision" he had made.

'Not only did I suddenly feel this vast guilt for doing what Andy had asked me to do but I also started to feel that this was my fault somehow because I didn't stop him, ' she wrote.

Congregants broke into 25 seconds of applause last week after pastor Andy Savage, 42, confessed to a 1998 "sexual incident" with a teen and asked for their forgiveness. The pastor concluded his remarks saying 'My repentance over this sin over 20 years ago was done believing God's forgiveness is bigger than any sin, and I still believe that, ' to which the audience cheered.