Darin Evans, former associate pastor at West Suburban Community Church in Elmhurst, is charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Evans faces up to 47 years in prison if convicted. He is being held on $300,000 bail in DuPage County.
The alleged sexual relationship began in 2004, when the victim was 16, and seeing Evans as a counselor, DuPage County prosecutors say, and continued until 2011. The alleged sexual acts took place in parks, cemeteries, restrooms, cars and at a church retreat in Wisconsin, they say.
Prosecutors said Evans told the victim he would kill himself if their relationship became public.
The alleged victim went to police earlier this year. Defense attorneys said Evans has no criminal history, and spoke with police as soon as he learned of the investigation.
There are no accusations involving other children, defense attorney Michael Fleming said.
On Tuesday, members of the congregation gathered together.
"It's just very difficult ....absolutely the last person we expected," said Pastor Jim Lennon, West Suburban Community Church. "Crime is inexcusable."
Lennon said that after the victim and her parents came forward, he confronted Evans. At the time, Evans had already resigned to take a job in another state.
Then, the matter was reported to the Elmhurst Police Department.
Evans was also an Elmhurst Youth Commissioner, reappointed twice and a mentor at York High School in Elmhurst.
Most recently, Evans was hired by the Coalition for Christian Outreach for a college campus position in Ohio. He has been fired from that job.
The Coalition for Christian Outreach released a brief statement:
"Our prayers go out to all involved."
Evans, 41, now lives in Dover, Ohio. He is married with three children.