Local News

Raleigh church's choir director accused of statutory rape

Posted October 15, 2012

— Knightdale police are investigating child sex allegations against a church choir director.

John Earl Wright, 31, the choir director of Body of Christ Church in Raleigh, was arrested Thursday on one count of statutory rape/sex offense as well as two counts of giving spirituous liquor to a person under age 21.

The alleged crimes happened Thursday at Wright's home, at 2109 Rosebud Drive in Knightdale, with a 14-year-old girl, Knightdale Police Chief Jason Godwin said Monday.

It appears Wright knew the girl through the church, but Godwin would not say exactly how.

John Wright Choir director accused of statutory rape

"There's some type of relationship there," he said. "We're unsure of exactly what that relationship is."

Knightdale police were alerted early Friday morning after the girl told her mother.

"We were informed by family members of the victim, we initiated the investigation in the wee hours of the morning, and we were able to make an arrest that same day," Godwin said.

Wright was in the Wake County jail Monday afternoon under a $500,000 bond.

Calls seeking comment from the church's pastor, Kelvin Redmond, were not immediately returned Monday.

Police are encouraging anyone else who may have been a victim to come forward.

"The worst thing we can do is hide an inappropriate behavior, especially one that involves our children," Godwin said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • laurenfedorov Oct 18, 2012

    Some of us do try to live out our faith. I am a Christian, and I am not at all ashamed of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
    This being said, if he did what he is accused of, it was very wrong for him to do it. Wrong in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of God. Actions like the ones he is accused of are condemned in the Bible, which is what Christians are supposed to live by.
    I don't know if he did it or not, so I am withholding opinions on his guilt, but what I have written here applies, whether or not he is guilty of these allegations.
    I expect someone in leadership in the church to know what the Bible teaches and to conduct himself/herself accordingly,as leadership is to set an example. They are not perfect, but they should strive to set an example for their congregations to follow.

  • Coolbreeze Oct 16, 2012

    Maybe he can lead the prison choir.

  • Lightfoot3 Oct 16, 2012

    "If Christins would live by the word of our savior Jesus Christ" - jasonconaway6969

    That's the problem. RARELY do they actually follow the bible they like to thump. Some don't even know what it really says on its pages. While I don't believe in sky spirits or that Jesus was some kind of man-god, I do believe his words contain a lot of wisdom, and offer good guidance.

  • Rebelyell55 Oct 16, 2012

    There are some sick people in this world.

  • piene2 Oct 16, 2012

    "These people make Christians look bad.

    Instead of superstitious babble how about working to set the age of consent at something realistic like fourteen, condomize our kids and do away with this "statutory rape" nonsense?

  • beachboater Oct 16, 2012

    He was also charged with buying alcohol for someone under 21. Did he get this 14 year old drunk and try to have his way with her? If that's the case, this guy is a real piece of work and should be punished severely.

    I know many people that have done stupid things because of alcohol when they were young. I probably did some of that myself (but I'll never admit it!!). Alcohol lowers one's inhibitions and morals.

    For the choir director's sake, I hope his bond is high enough to keep in jail. The 14 year old's father could be his biggest concern now. I know if something like that happened to one of my daughters, I might wish bodily harm to this creep.

  • jasonconaway6969 Oct 15, 2012

    These people make Christians look bad. If Christins would live by the word of our savior Jesus Christ, and resist worldly, sinful temptations this whole country would be where it needs to be. But hey we are all sinners, I will pray for this girl, and this man. Both have made bad decisions, and I hope they can seek forgivness and turn their lives around.

  • dirkdiggler Oct 15, 2012

    How nice that a pedophile affords to live in luxury at the expense of the church who pays his salary. I wonder how his wife feels about these charges.

  • workinghuman33 Oct 15, 2012

    If this person IS guilty, I guess he knew where to place himself for low hanging fruit. This is some very sad & scary for our young people. Church leaders, school teachers & coaches, neighbors, a Santa Claus from Cary where does it end? Who can you trust? If our laws & punishment fit these crimes more and they didn't get out of jail in less than 5-7 years maybe things would change.