Local pastor under investigation on suspicion of multiple counts of lewd acts with minor

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) —  A local Carlsbad pastor was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of repeatedly molesting a child for about a year, authorities reported.

Matthew John Otis Tague, 43, who ministers at North Coast Calvary Chapel on Poinsettia Lane, was taken into custody about 12:30 p.m. after being questioned by detectives at the Vista Sheriff’s Station, Lt. Karen Stubkjaer said.

Tague was booked into county jail on suspicion of 16 counts of lewd and lascivious acts — two of them forcible — with a person under age 14.

Stubkjaer declined to disclose the alleged victim’s age or gender, but she did say the purported crimes were not "related to his duties or position at the church.”

"At this point, sheriff’s detectives have no indication there are additional victims,” Stubkjaer said.

The offenses allegedly took place over a roughly 12-month period, Stubkjaer said.

Tague was being held on $1.9 million bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.

North Coast Calvary Chapel released the following statement after news of Tague’s arrest. 

We are deeply grieved to share that early this week we learned that a pastor at North Coast Calvary Chapel, Matthew Tague, was reported to have acted inappropriately with a minor, off church property, and outside of church ministry activities.

When our staff learned of the allegations, we immediately reported the accusation to our Sherriff’s Department and terminated Mr. Tague’s employment. On Wednesday May 31, Mr. Tague was arrested on suspicion of the offense. The investigation of the accusation is now in the hands of law enforcement.

We ask you to please pray for the victim, as well as the family involved in this tragic matter. Please pray for law enforcement as they determine the facts. We also ask you to pray for justice and restorative healing to take place for all involved.

We are utterly heartbroken by these events. We have strict requirements and procedures in place for hiring pastors and staff including professional background checks and exhaustive interviews. In this case, Mr. Tague had no previous record of arrest or criminal charges. It goes without saying that we are cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Categories: Local San Diego News