LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A local youth pastor and community college instructor has been arrested for indecent behavior with a juvenile.
Alex Thunder John, 32, of Lake Charles, was the youth minister at Waters Edge. He is also listed as an adjunct instructor in the Digital Arts and Communication department at SOWELA.
John was arrested Thursday afternoon on one count of indecent behavior with juveniles, according to the Calcasieu Correctional Center booking report.
John allegedly had inappropriate communications with a juvenile six years ago when the victim was under the age of 17, according to information from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. Judge Clayton Davis set bond at $100,000.
“Not only did the church have trust in him, but families had trust in him,” says CPSO Chief Deputy “Stitch” Guillory. “Just the fact that he betrayed their trust is sickening on his part.”
SOWELA officials confirmed that John is an adjunct instructor, but said they are not at liberty to discuss allegations against personnel.
Tony Bourque, pastor at Waters Edge, released a video statement on the church’s Facebook page Friday morning, saying that John was immediately terminated. Bourque said he received a phone call from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Thursday evening, telling him that John had been arrested for talking indecently with a minor.
“This is not something that we stand for. It’s not something that we put up with. And it’s not something that I would say that he was just struggling with anything,” Bourque said in the statement. “This was predatory, and we do not believe in victim shaming - at all. Not at all. And so, I’m not going to make any excuses for him or what happened. All I want to say is that I’m deeply sorry, and I’m physically sick by all of this.”
Bourque said Waters Edge will be holding a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday night for churchgoers with questions.
Bourque said the church will be putting in measures “To make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”
John’s neighbors were surprised of his arrest.
“We have a lot of children in this neighborhood and he’s really close to the elementary school so it’s a scary thought,” says Carol Douget. “Waters Edge is such a good church. I could not imagine. It’s just heartbreaking.”
“It’s so crazy someone could be living so close to me like that,” says Michael Doise. “Me and my daughters were outside all day long. We waved to him, he waved back. It’s just surprising.”