Youth minister at Mt. Lebanon church accused of fondling teen
A youth minister at a Mt. Lebanon church is charged with fondling one of the congregation’s teen girls he was assigned to mentor.
Nicholas M. Lies, 21, of 443 Kenmont Ave., Mt. Lebanon, was arrested by township police June 30 and accused of touching the girl inappropriately in his vehicle between April and August 2016.
Lies met the 13-year-old girl through the program at Southminster Church at 799 Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon and the two interacted on a regular basis during church functions, the accuser told police.
While driving the girl back to her home on one occasion in April 2016, Lies instead took her to Bird Park near Cedar Road where he parked and then tried to kiss her, police said. That behavior continued several times each week over the next month, police said, before Lies left for a church mission trip to Africa in May 2016. The two sexted through social media apps while he was away, police said.
When he returned in August, investigators said Lies picked up the girl and they drove back to the park where he fondled her. After that incident, police said Lies continued to text the girl and insist she perform sex acts on him.
The girl’s mother contacted Allegheny County Children, Youth and Family last month to raise concerns about the situation and police interviewed the girl June 29. Police also interviewed Lies that day and he admitted to kissing and fondling the girl, according to court documents.
Lies faces one count each of statutory sex assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and child endangerment. He is free on $2,000 bond while he awaits his preliminary hearing July 12 before District Judge Blaise Larotonda.
His attorney, Gary Evan Gerson, declined to comment.
A pastor at Southminster Church could not be reached for comment and it was unknown what his status is with the church.
Lies is entering his senior year at Waynesburg University and listed as a Bonner Scholar, an elite service program through the school. A Waynesburg spokeswoman said she could not discuss the student’s status.