Flash Staff Report
January 12, 2021
Erath County officials have announced through the joint efforts of the EC Sheriff’s Office and the Hood County DA’s Office charges have been brought against Ryan Don Ivy, 42, who has been serving as youth pastor at the Bluff Dale Baptist Church, for online solicitation of a minor – victim under 14. This morning he was arrested on a felony warrant and booked into the Erath County Jail.
According to the arrest affidavit, in September investigators were made aware of the offense, a second degree felony. The alleged communication with a 13-year-old female in the Bluff Dale school district happened on or about July 27, 2020, in Bluff Dale, Erath County, Texas, and were reported to Erath County SO investigators after a forensic interview with the Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center.
Erath County Sheriff’s Office investigators met with a Hood County DA investigator who informed them the child advised in the interview she had been communicating in a sexual manner with Ivy, whom she knew through his work as a youth pastor at her church in Bluff Dale. She told the interviewer the communication was over electronic media through various applications like Instagram and the Hood County investigator advised another student and friend of the victim had also taken part in some of the conversations but Ivy only believed he was speaking to the victim. The second child was 11.
In the conversations on electronic media, the victim and Ivy began communication on 7/22/2020 and continue through 7/27/2020. In the communication, the victim identifies herself as 13 years old and sends a picture of herself in her cheerleading outfit which includes her backpack with her first name monogrammed on the outside. Later in the conversation, Ivy and the victim discuss potential sexual encounters. Investigators found several times when Ivy would tell the victim to delete all the messages from their conversations.
The Erath County SO investigator reported that as part of the investigation, they contacted Scott Pace, who is the pastor of the Bluff Dale Baptist Church. Pace stated Ivy met with him and admitted the “inappropriate” sexual conversation with a minor female. Pace reported Ivy’s employment as youth minister continued after this conversation with the pastor.
Around the same time, Ivy met with Bluff Dale ISD Superintendent John Taylor, where Ivy was employed as an instructional aide. Taylor said Ivy told him a minor female student had sent him an inappropriate message, of a sexual nature. During the conversation, Taylor said Ivy resigned his position with BDISD.
Erath County Sheriff’s Office CID investigators believed due to the continued access to the child victim and because the investigators believe Ivy’s behavior to be “grooming” or preparing them to engage in worse, charges were filed. At 6:30 a.m. on January 12, Ivy was arrested and booked into the Erath County Jail on a felony arrest warrant for Online Solicitation of a Minor.
Erath County Sheriff Matt Coates said his department would like to the the Department of Public Safety, Erath County District Attorney’s Office, Child Protective Services and the Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center and others for assistance with the investigation.