A Rockville youth minister was arrested and charged with sex offenses and assault Wednesday after allegedly having inappropriate sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl, police said.
On May 20, 32-year-old Brian Patrick Werth of Montgomery Village, a youth minister at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Rockville, had inappropriate sexual contact with the girl during a youth event at the church, Montgomery County Police said in a statement. Werth had sent the girl graphic sexual texts since the summer of 2014, the statement said.
Charging documents said Werth had known the girl since middle school and allegedly forced himself on her at an overnight event in May. The girl said she “did not want to engage in this sexual activity,” but “felt she had no choice” because Werth “had helped her with so many things up to that point,” according to the documents.
Werth was charged with one count of fourth-degree sexual offense, one count of sexual abuse of a minor and second degree assault, police said.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Washington said Werth had cleared a background check. Werth’s alleged conduct was reported to the church pastor who contacted the diocese which reported the case to Montgomery County law enforcement, the diocese said in a statement. Werth has been terminated from his job, according to the diocesan statement.
“The Archdiocese of Washington takes seriously its responsibility to the children entrusted to its care,” the statement said.
No attorney for Werth was listed in public court records, and attempts to reach Werth by telephone Wednesday were not successful.
Police, who say they believe Werth may have targeted others, asked anyone with information about inappropriate contact involving him to contact them at 240-773-5400.
Dan Morse contributed to this report.