By CBS3 Staff

CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – A Delaware County pastor has been charged with the sexual abuse of a teenage girl. Authorities say 70-year-old Edward Lilly, pastor of the Christian Church of Chester, began having a relationship with the victim in 2017 when she was 16 years old.

According to investigators, Lilly was a frequent shopper at the local supermarket where the girl worked. He allegedly began to flirt with her regularly and gifted her cash until establishing a sexual relationship with her after she turned 17.

“Like every case of child abuse, this is about the abuse of power. The defendant spotted this young girl in the check-out line at a grocery store and, over a period of months, he groomed her, initially by flirting, and then by more sexually explicit encounters,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said.

The victim told investigators Lilly videotaped their encounters using a cellphone he specifically purchased for their relationship. According to the victim, Lilly also asked the victim to watch porn with him and also asked for intimate items of clothing.

He allegedly instructed her not to tell anyone about the relationship, and to delete texts and images from her phone.

“Over time the defendant is alleged to have given the victim approximately $2,000, which the victim interpreted as an attempt to buy her silence,” the district attorney’s office said.

During a search of Lilly’s home in August 2020, detectives found a video file of Lilly engaging in sexual intercourse with the victim at his house at a time when the victim was 17 years old.

He was arrested and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 10.

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