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

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Friday, January 12, 2018
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Prominent Tennessee pastor Andy Savage has confessed before his congregation to the sex incident, but authorities in Texas say he won't be charged.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK) -- Deputy constables say a Tennessee pastor will not face charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in The Woodlands 20 years ago.

Jules Woodson said former Woodlands youth pastor Andy Savage assaulted her in his car on an empty road after a church event in 1998.

Woodson said when she told leaders at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church about it the next day, they allegedly told her not to contact authorities and allowed Savage to resign quietly, WMC reports.

The victim also said church leaders never told her parents the whole story.

In a sermon Sunday at Highpoint Church in Memphis, Savage admitted to a "sexual incident" and apologized to Jules by name from the pulpit.

"Jules, I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago," Savage said. "I remain committed to cooperate with you toward forgiveness and healing."

After admitting to the incident, the congregation gave Pastor Savage a standing ovation, WMC reports.

This afternoon, the Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constables' office said because of Texas law in 1998, the statute of limitations has passed and no charges are able to be filed.

"Using the current statute, we would have some possible options, but we are limited to the law as it was at the time of the offense in 1998," Captain Dan Zientek said in a statement. "As a result, we are unable to investigate and seek justice to the full extent of what would we normally would in such a case."

As a result of Savage's admission, a publisher has dropped plans to release his upcoming book, titled "The Ridiculously Good Marriage."

A pastor who worked at the same church as Savage in 1998 has been put on leave at his current church pending the outcome of an investigation.

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