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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 3/10/2015 

 Polk County Sheriff's Office Detectives Arrest Former Youth Pastor for Having Sex with a Minor 


On Tuesday, March 9, 2015, PCSO detectives charged 30-year-old Phillip Kendrick II of Lakeland with three counts of lewd battery, one count of transmitting material harmful to a minor, and one count of the use of a two-way communications device to commit felony. 

On Monday, PCSO detectives were contacted by the pastor of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church.  He told deputies a church member told him that the church’s former youth pastor, Kendrick, had sex with a 15-year-old girl sometime between November and January 2015.  According to the church Pastor, Kendrick was no longer employed as a youth minister as of October, 2014, though he still attended the church. 

During the investigation detectives learned the 15-year-old victim met Kendrick when he was a youth minister approximately four years ago while attending a youth group at the church.  In an interview with deputies, the victim said she viewed Kendrick as a trusted source of support.  Over the course of four years, the victim told deputies that the relationship between the two turned from a ministerial relationship to more of a personal friendship.  In October 2014, Phillip told the victim he had “strong feelings” for her. 

From interviews with the victim and Kendrick, detectives learned that Kendrick had sexual contact with each other on three occasions.  Kendrick also sent pictures of his penis to the girl, and she sent naked images of herself to him.  Both the 15-year-old victim and Kendrick stated the sex was consensual.   

During an interview with detectives, Kendrick admitted to knowing the victim was 15 years old and admitted that they engaged in sex acts with each other and exchanged nude pictures.   

Phillip was booked into the Polk County jail today, March 10, 2015 and is currently being held on no bond.