Church volunteer charged with sex assault on minor
by Staff Writer
by Katie Orlando
HUNTERSVILLE – A Lake Forest Church student ministry volunteer turned himself in to Charlotte Mecklenburg Police last week after being accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.
Police charged Thad MacMoran, 26, Dec. 30 with four counts of indecent liberties with a minor, second-degree sex offense by force and crimes against nature for the alleged attacks.
Police refused to release any information in the case because of the alleged victim’s age. It is unclear how MacMoran knew the child.
MacMoran is not accused of assaulting any children at the church, church leaders said. Lake Forest leaders took away his contact with children after they found out about the accusations, officials said.
MacMoran has been a volunteer at Lake Forest since July 2010. He led a small group of eighth-grade boys during Wednesday night student ministry meetings called Discipleship Nights. The small groups broke off from the large program, but Pastor for Spiritual Formation Mitch White said MacMoran was never left alone with the children.
Lake Forest Church leaders emailed the congregation about the arrest last week.
The church performs background checks before volunteers step into ministry roles and repeats those checks every year. Both MacMoran’s initial background check and a second check in July 2011 were clear, the email said.
MacMoran knew the minor before his involvement with Lake Forest, and church leaders said the alleged misconduct is unrelated to his involvement with teenagers at the church.
Since sending the email, White said he has not received any feedback from parents about MacMoran that would lead them to believe anyone at the church was involved.
Church leaders said in the email they are actively contacting specific students under MacMoran’s leadership to ascertain whether any misconduct occurred through Lake Forest.
“There’s been nothing that gives us any reason to believe that he had any misconduct with any of our students,” White said Tuesday, Jan. 3.
White said he will continue to offer pastoral care to MacMoran.
“We’re taking the approach of being innocent until proven guilty, but also taking all the precautions necessary, and students and parents have appreciated that,” White said.
MacMoran was released from the Mecklenburg County Jail on Saturday, Dec. 31, after posting a $200,000 bail, the jail log said.