A youth minister at an
Autryville church is facing charges in Guilford County.
Thomas L. Elliot, 40, of
Roseboro, was arrested for soliciting a minor over the Internet for a sexual
act and attempted indecent liberties with a minor.
The arrest Thursday (Oct.
21) was part of an undercover Internet sting by Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.
According to an official with the sheriff’s office, Elliot had been under
surveillance since September.
Elliot is a part-time youth
minister at Autryville Baptist Church.
Officers said Elliot
initiated chats with officers online. Thursday Elliot arranged to meet what he
thought was a 14-year-old girl on Friday “for the purpose of a sexual act,” the
The minister drove two and a half hours from Roseboro to
Greensboro for the meeting.
“We set up to meet at a
movie theater,” Det. Tommy Sluder Sluder said. However, after Elliott got lost,
detectives changed the location of the meeting to an electronics store, where
he was promptly arrested.
“He was shocked,” said
Sluder of Elliott’s reaction when he opened his car door to see a swarm of
detectives instead of the girl._ÑŒ
Elliot’s former employer at Clinton radio
station said news of the arrest was surprising.
Pat Dixon at WCLN Funtime
Oldies in Clinton, said the news of his arrest came as a shock.
“It is out of character for
him to do something like this,” Dixon said Friday in a Sampson Independent
article. “I have nothing but good things to say about him. He is one of the
finest people that I have ever met.”_ÑŒ
Dixon said Elliott, who has a wife and
child, worked at the station for close to six years as on-air talent doing an
afternoon radio show, where Elliott was better known as “The Fly.” _ÑŒ
years ago, Elliott left his job for the ministry “because he really loved doing
it and it was something he always wanted to do,” Dixon said.
“I know he also worked
another job in Fayetteville to supplement his income. I get people who still
come up to me and ask what happened to his show; he was very popular here. To
hear of him being arrested, is just a real shock to me.”_ÑŒ
Elliott is being held
on a $25,000 bond at Guilford County Jail. His first court appearance was
Friday at 2 p.m.
Other reports say Elliot
also was an announcer for a local football team. Elliot also was a volunteer
youth minister at Evergreen Baptist Church before being hired at Autryville Baptist.