MCKINNEY (CBS 11) – An 8th grade math teacher and children’s ministry leader is on leave from his job and his post as a spiritual leader after he was arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Most people know Matt Pappas as a beloved math teacher at Clark Junior High School and leader of Awana at Grace Community Church in Princeton.
Parents at Clark Junior High School received a letter from the district today, warning them that a teacher had been arrested. That teacher was Matt Pappas. He was placed on leave following his arrest.
Court documents revealed one of Pappas’ former students, whom he taught when he was an elementary school teacher, came forward with an outcry to her parents.
The victim said Pappas and her family are friends and that she and her siblings would frequently visit Pappas’ home and to play and watch movies, the documents stated.
The victim told a forensic interviewer that, twice, when her siblings left the room, Pappas had touched her inappropriately while they watched movie, the affidavit stated. When the movie was over, the assault stopped, the documents said.
Pappas’ church family was stunned and saddened by the news of the arrest.
“Initially it was disbelief and my heart sank ,” said Senior Pastor Rich Hooper. “This is not something that you would ever expect to hear about someone like Matt just because he is very kind, always smiling very upbeat, very positive .”
Hooper said Pappas passed a background check before he was hired as a childrens ministry leader.
Since his arrest, he has been relieved of his duties.
Despite the allegations, Hooper said he and his church family are standing behind Pappas’ and are praying the matter may be resolved soon.
”We know that even if he did make a mistake, we know that that is not his identity. We know that he is someone that we love and cherish and respect and that we want to help through this process,” Hooper said.
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