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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Matt Tague Charged With Sex Crimes

matt tague

Matthew Tague, family pastor at North Coast Calvary Chapel in Carlsbad, California, was arrested today and charged with “at least 16 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor.”

ABC-10 reports:

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.

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 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.

Tague taught the “whole parenting” class at North Coast. Tague has already been scrubbed from the church’s website, but I was able to find a description of Tague’s class via The Wayback Machine:

Come be a part of “Whole Parenting” taught by Pastor Matt Tague. This class integrates the best of ancient wisdom with modern research on love and attachment to your child, regardless of their age or stage. This once-a-month class is designed to build your parenting as you think through the values and priorities that form a central part of your life and family. This class will grow to become a community of people, interested in their children, who desire the best for the next generation and for their community. Learn more about your child, your own parenting philosophy, and how God wants to grow you as a person AS you parent. Whether your child is 2 or 22, this class is for you. Whole Parenting happens the second Sunday of every month in the Chapel building, Room C105, at the 10:45am service.

North Coast released the following statement: (link no longer active)

With Regards to Matthew Tague

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.

When our staff learned of the allegations, we immediately reported the accusation to our Sherriff’s Department and terminated Mr. Tague’s employment. On Wednesday May 31, Mr. Tague was arrested on suspicion of the offense.  The investigation of the accusation is now in the hands of law enforcement.

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.

 

matt tague linkedin

Prior to coming to North Coast, Tague pastored Rancho del Rey Church in Carlsbad,California for ten years. Tague was also the assistant pastor of Carlsbad Community Church in Carlsbad for six years.

Update

The San Diego Union Tribune reports:

An assistant pastor at a large Carlsbad church pleaded not guilty on Friday to multiple counts of molesting a child over the past year, charges that upon conviction could send him to prison for more than 100 years.

Matt Tague, 43, was arrested Wednesday, after calling sheriff’s investigators Monday to report the crime himself, authorities said.

It wasn’t a sense of guilt that drove him, according to Deputy District Attorney Patricia Lavermicocca. She said Tague’s wife caught him last week molesting a 13-year-old relative.

Tague has been charged with 14 separate counts of child molestation under duress “because he used his position of power and trust over the minor victim to get her to do things he wanted her to do,” the prosecutor said. She said the victim was made to manually stimulate Tague numerous times, starting in 2016 when she was 12.

On Friday, Vista Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freeland refused to lower Tague’s bail, keeping it at $1.9 million.

Defense attorney Raymond Gomez asked for a lower amount, noting that Tague has close ties to the North County area and has no criminal history whatsoever. He also said the only time Tague has been out of the country was on church-related matters.

The judge said bail will remain as set out of safety concerns for the victim.

….

In February 2018, Tague pleaded guilty to “two counts of lewd act on a child.” Tuesday, according to an ABC-10 report, Tague was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for his crimes:

A Carlsbad pastor whose wife caught him molesting a female family member was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday afternoon.

Matthew Tague stood in Superior Court in Vista to read a statement of apology; taking 100 per cent responsibility for hurting those closest to him and saying he’s getting counseling for his sex addiction.

“For all these things, I am and will be truly and profoundly repentant and in light of my terrible and reprehensible actions. I would like to share why I’m grateful that I was discovered on May 5, 2017.”

His wife stood then, talking about rehabilitation and forgiveness. “This sentence my husband faces, we all know is indeed lifelong; no matter what number of years is decided, these events will follow him for the rest of his life.”

Deputy district attorney Patricia Lavermicocca hammered on Tague’s role in the community, as pastor of North Coast Calvary Chapel. “This isn’t just a father; he is a pastor who teaches the community the morally right thing to do.”

Judge Daniel Goldstein noted Tague’s selfishness and aggression, calling his acts outrageous and heinous. “I do consider that you never had a criminal history but you stepped off the deep end.”

Tague, 44, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of lewd act on a child.

….

7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    John E Hein

    I knew Matt when he pastored at Rancho Del Rey. He had power and control issues. I doubt he really believed in God then based on things he said and did at Rancho Del Rey. Matt Tague called the police after his wife caught him with the girl he admitted to abusing for more than a year. At his most previous church, he was the family pastor…think about it.

  2. Avatar
    Sherry Smith

    There’s a serious lack of Spiritual Discernment in most of our churches. I’m sure there were plenty of signs —
    No one cared to recognize. I understand he had three adopted children and another article mentioned it was a female relative that he abused. Very SICK, disgusting person!

    • Avatar
      Alh

      Exactly. He preached about the Church would conquer pornography after he went to a conference last year or year prior. He was probably volunteering to go bc that was what he was into. This is how the devil works. Projecting their very own actons. This is so sad. I really liked his sermons- very powerful. He gave into the sin. A lesson to all. I am sure it will come out that he, too was abused. Always the same story!

  3. Avatar
    Sally

    I knew him years ago – they homeschool their kids. What is especially appalling is that his wife pleaded for him at court, and requested that the adopted child he molested, be allowed to write to him in prison! I do not want to give personal details but apparently this child is special needs and much less mature than her age.

    This leads me to suspect that his wife had caught him before, and had probably threatened to tell the authorities if he didn’t stop. And like so many of them, he didn’t stop, so she finally reported him. It appears she plans to “stand by her man”, no matter what he did. I am very concerned for this child to have to communicate with her abuser and when he gets out (probably early as he’ll preach to the prisoners), that she will again have to deal with him since his wife seems to be in complete denial.

    Oh yeah — one of the older kids did a speech years ago for speech & debate, and admitted he himself became tainted by porn. I guess they tried to homeschool to keep the “outside influences of the world” away from their kids, but in the end, it was influences inside the home that were most evil. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/sd-me-pastor-sentenced-20180410-story.html

  4. Avatar
    Alicia

    Matt Tague was one of the pastors at the church I went to growing up. He was most recently a pastor at North Coast where my mom works. The comments here are all correct. He was always a self-righteous, egotistical piece of you know what. His kids (the older, biological ones) were my age and definitely took after their dad’s ego. They all had this holier-than-thou type attitude. Sad that his wife is still desperately trying to maintain their image even now, after it’s been shattered. She clearly cares more about their image than the well being of this poor victim. By the way, it was discovered that Matt Tague had been using the church computer to watch porn for years. In the public court papers, he blames all of this on the fact that his wife wasn’t putting out. (I’m sure he won’t have that problem in prison). He’s sick and I don’t believe he’s remorseful. I’m disgusted that his family is defending him.

    Oh, and the older son is part of some organization that fights sexual exploitation – talk about hypocritical.

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