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Carlsbad pastor arrested on child molestation charges

Matthew Tague is being held on $1.9 million bail
Posted: 4:47 PM, May 31, 2017
Updated: 2017-06-01 10:55:51-04
Carlsbad pastor arrested for child molestation
Carlsbad pastor arrested for child molestation

(KGTV) - A Carlsbad pastor is behind bars Wednesday accused of several counts of child molestation.

Deputies with the San Diego Sheriff's child abuse unit arrested 43-year-old Matthew Tague, of San Marcos, and charged him with at least 16 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14.

The charges against Tague, a pastor at North Coast Calvary Chapel in Carlsbad, are not related to his duties or position at the church, according to a release from SDSO Lt. Karen Stubkjaer.

Stubkjaer said there is no indication there are other victims at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

Tague's neighbors describe his as a family man - married, with adopted children. 

"They played basketball all the time outside. They road bikes, they skated, they did all kinds of things," said Lon Plourde, the family's next-door neighbor. "Very friendly, seemed like a perfect little family."

Tague is being held in Vista Detention Facility on $1.9 million bail. He's due in court on June 2.

Anyone with any information that may be related to this case is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at 858-974-2310.

North Coast Calvary Church said in a statement they reported Tague to the Sheriff's Department "immediately" and terminated his employment with the church after learning of the accusation. 

"We are deeply grieved to share that early this week we learned that a pastor at North Coast Calvary Chapel, Matthew Tague, was reported to have acted inappropriately with a minor, off church property, and outside of church ministry activities," the church said.

More from the church's statement:

We ask you to please pray for the victim, as well as the family involved in this tragic matter. Please pray for law enforcement as they determine the facts. We also ask you to pray for justice and restorative healing to take place for all involved.

We are utterly heartbroken by these events. We have strict requirements and procedures in place for hiring pastors and staff including professional background checks and exhaustive interviews. In this case, Mr. Tague had no previous record of arrest or criminal charges. It goes without saying that we are cooperating fully with law enforcement.  

As we as a church family process this tragic event, we know that you will have questions. Please meet with our pastors, all of whom will make themselves available to you, or contact Executive Pastor, Bob Mackenzie: bob@northcoastcalvary.org; 760-929-0029 ext. 104.