Crime & Courts

Church youth leader admits to having sex with 16-year-old boy several times, cops say

Courtney Michelle Bingham
Courtney Michelle Bingham Loudon County Sheriff's Office

A woman who serves as a youth leader is facing multiple charges for a sexual relationship she had with a 16-year-old boy she met at a Tennessee church, WATE reported.

Sheriff’s deputies said Courtney Michelle Bingham was arrested on Dec. 4 and “admitted to repeatedly having sex” with the teenager she chaperoned during events at Bethany Baptist Church, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The minor told the sheriff’s office he and the 35-year-old Loudon County woman had sex “at least 10 times,” at her residence, per WVLT. In her confession, Bingham told deputies she and the teen started a relationship in November, but had sex “only three to four times,” the TV station reported.

Bingham also admitted to sending “nude photographs” to the 16-year-old, according to WATE. An arrest warrant stated “pornographic images” taken at Bingham’s residence were discovered on the boy’s phone, WVLT reported.

The sheriff’s office discovered the relationship after being notified by the teen’s father, per the Knoxville News Sentinel.

After being arrested, Bingham was charged with aggravated statutory rape and soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor, according to jail records.

She remains behind bars at the Loudon County Jail after her bond was set at $57,500 on the combined charges, jail records show. Bingham is scheduled to appear in court on April 3, 2019.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.