Kris Allen Gowdy, an HIV-positive youth pastor, has been arrested after Canadian authorities say he attempted to arrange a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy.
According to a press release, Gowdy befriended an undercover investigator online under the username "collegetoy2033" on a social media website, allegedly for the purpose of having sex.
When the 42-year-old showed up at the presumed 15-year-old's house on August 9, he was arrested and charged with luring a child via computer, and attempted aggravated sexual assault.
“He’s all over chat rooms and social media,” said police spokeswoman Sgt. Nancy Van Rooy to the Democrat and Chronicle. “He’s quite narcissistic. He’s out there and has been for some time.”
Investigators emphasized to the Toronto Sun that, despite Gowdy's line of work, "this luring incident is in no way connected to the church."
The StarPhoenix states that Gowdy acknowledged having been diagnosed HIV-positive in 2009, which was probably contracted sometime in the early 1990s.
Gowdy's career has involved stints as a youth pastor at several different churches, including the New Hope Free Methodist Church in Rochester, New York. That congregation issued a "special announcement" as news of Gowdy's associations spread:
Let us state at the outset that we had no indications of inappropriate behaviour by Kris either while at New Hope or during his service as a youth worker or pastor. We have conferred with Superintendent Mitch Pierce and appreciate his guidance at this time. He has indicated that no complaints against Kris (or even rumors) have been received by Genesis Conference of the Free Methodist Church.
The release further states that "this particular incident is in no way connected to New Hope Free Methodist Church."
Anyone with new information to this investigation is asked to contact Det. Randy Norton at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5363. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca.
Canadian Police have determined that Gowdy was not currently working at a church in Ontario at the time of his arrest. He had previously worked as a youth pastor at Trulls Road Free Methodist Church in Ontario, then left in 2009 "for other ministry opportunities" according to a statement from the church.