Around 5am on Sunday morning, Jody Lusk, a Logan County preacher wanted in connection with the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl, turned himself in to police.
He reportedly picked the girl up after school on Friday, had sex with her at an Illinois campground, then returned her to her home Saturday afternoon. Lusk maintains the sexual contact was consensual.
Lusk had attempted to make it appear that he had been kidnapped by sending his wife a text message at 3pm Saturday. The message said, "KY license plate 744frm Briggs Lake". The FBI investigated but discovered the license plate belonged to an abandoned vehicle that had nothing to do with the case. I'm not sure why he did all this, or where he was going with the phony disappearance angle. Was he going to bug out, hit the road and disappear forever? Or was it just a temporary diversionary tactic? Or just a really poorly-executed bit of psychological "dazzle camoflage"?
His own vehicle - with windows broken - was found at Briggs Lake, where he had told his wife he would be fishing. Additionally, his bicycle was found abandoned on another road further out and his canoe was floating empty in the lake. This led police to fear that he had drowned, and extensive measures - underwater cameras and sonar - were employed to try to find his body.
He released a statement to WBKO-TV which reads, in part:
"I am deeply sorry for my sinful actions and I am in deep shame. I have been asked what could possibly motivate me to do such a thing. I can't quite explain why. Satan blinds us to sin and what it is and what it really does. Being a preacher I know that God's Word warns us about Satan and his ways. Unfortunately, until I experienced that first hand I didn't fully grasp it. I was on a spiritual high as 2009 began but I let it all come crashing down, I let Satan have his way with me. My faith wasn't as strong as I thought it was. Looking back on all that I've done it's hard to believe this was me doing this... Satan wants all of us to think that some sins are OK. But what seems like a small sin will always progress and lead to other sins. Don't let him fool you. I ask for everyone to forgive me - my family, her family, my brethren, my friends, and my community."
Lusk also has a welcome statement on the Google-cached copy of Auburn Church of Christ's website (the actual one has been yanked down):
I have been with the church in Auburn since April 1, 2007. I have been preaching the gospel for about 10 years and have worked with churches in Alabama and Kentucky. I grew up near Boaz, AL and became a Christian in 1995, after leaving the denominations of men and obeying God's plan of salvation. Very soon, I had the desire to preach the gospel, but being new to the faith, I knew it would take time to be ready. I spent the next 3 years studying hard and preparing myself to work full-time as a preacher. I had the help of some fine gospel preachers in my preparation, such as George Hutto and Carroll Sutton. During this time, I preached any time I had the opportunity, anywhere I had the opportunity. In January 1999 I began my first work with the Millertown church of Christ in the Dot community in Logan County, KY. In July 2001 I moved back to Alabama and worked with the Alexandria Rd. church of Christ in Jacksonville, AL. After being there for almost 6 years, I then moved here to Auburn. My wife, Shannon, and I have 3 children- Hollie, Zachary, and Elijah. If I can help you in any way, please don't hesitate to ask!
Maybe he should have just blamed it on The Danes.