SEXUAL ABUSE: Ex-Youth Pastor Sentenced

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A former metro youth pastor was sentenced Monday morning for sexual abuse.

Twenty-seven-year old Ryan McKelvey asked the judge for a suspended sentence and apologized to his victims.

“I hate what I did, I hate the situations that I was in, I hate how I used pain and hard times to rationalize and justify my actions,” McKelvey told the judge.

McKelvey was found guilty of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by a counselor.

Police say McKelvey had inappropriate sexual relations with two teenage girls during his time as a youth pastor at Heritage Assembly of God Church in Des Moines.

A mother of one of the girls McKelvey assaulted gave a statement in court. She said she trusted the youth pastor, only to later find out that he had given her daughter a hickey the same night his wife was at the hospital in labor with their son.

She said he later made a pass at her in her own home.

Both victims also took the stand to give McKelvey their thoughts. One said she forgives him.

“Ryan McKelvey I just want you to know you don't run my life or steal my joy because the best revenge is just moving on and getting over it,” the victim said.

“I don't want to ever give you the satisfaction of watching me hurt. This is what I choose to do, I choose to forgive you because forgiveness doesn't excuse your behavior, but forgiveness prevents your behavior from destroying my heart.”

The judge called McKelvey a manipulator and a predator as she handed down his  15 year sentence in prison. He will also spend the rest of his life on the sex offender registry.


  • snapjudy

    It’s never too late to come forward about being sexually abused. So let’s hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Ryan Matthew McKelvey, will find the courage to speak up, get help, and report it to law enforcement, no matter how long ago it happened.

    Something to keep in mind-
    Child predators are very cunning and manipulative. They know every trick on how to groom, threaten, lie, and put the fear of god into their victims and sometimes even their family members. They also appear to do a lot of goods things, they can be very charismatic and you may think they would never harm a child. They have to be this way, in order to not get caught and to continue to abuse

    Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved. It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance would somehow set off alarm bells and give us the willies or the creeps. They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of sexually violating others. While they are grooming the child and even family members, they devote lots of time and energy building trust with them by giving them money and gifts. They tend to make the child feel that they are special and loved.

    It takes a lot of courage to come forward and take action about being sexually abused. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many. Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever.

    Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511,
    SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, teachers, Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.

  • Dan

    So is his wife still standing by his side? If she is I’m sure she says it was the girl’s fault. Why wasn’t he with his wife while she was in labor? These people are so phony.

    • LAURA

      actually she had to leave the church made her leave…i’m on of Ryan Mckelvey’s former youth member and all i have to say is that these girls have created more than there share of trouble and i hope that they understand what they did to him and his family…this man just had a son and he isn’t going to be able to see him until he is almost 16 years old

      • Public

        Where is your molester/family member? He is roaming the streets of Des Moines!!! This same thing happened to you and your abuser is running around free!!! You need to stop telling lies of which you know nothing about! You are one that has caused more problems than anyone else!

  • mk

    Yes and I bet that one of the victims failed to tell that she is dating a 20something year old guy right now!!! Sounds like someone had a problem with older men!

    • veryaware

      Sorry for you to leave a comment when you don’t know the facts. I know this girl well and. 1. She has no boyfriend at this time. 2. The guy you are referring to is in his early 20s 3. He is a friend that she talks to sometimes that lives 12-15 hours away. 4. He is not her youth pastor.

    • ta

      Well mk, you seem to have this all figured out in your twisted brain. The 20 something is in his very early 20’s I should know because I’m the one that birthed him. He also isn’t holding a position in the church and married with a child. Very different situation! By the way moron she is older now. I have witnessed situations like this before and there are always some idiots out there that will try and turn the victim into the predator. It’s because of low lifes like yourself that cause other victims not to come forward. It sounds to me like your the one with the problem and your no better than he is!

    • ta

      Mk, your the perfect idiot! You know, the one that always turns the victim into the predator. It’s because of idiots like yourself that cause other victims not to come forward! That 20 something is in his very early 20’s who does not hold a position in the church, married, and has a child. Did you also forget that the victim you are referring to is older now? Very different situation! By the way, thank you for throwing that out there so I could correct you! Just so you know “Ddaddyfresh” calls me momma!

  • DB

    Hey it’s that 20something year old here…and let me say me and this girl do like each other…but our conversation is pure and holy…i would never think of doing anything inappropriate with this girl…first off because I truly care fore her…and more importantly I would never do anything to ruin my ministry….this girl is the most precious little lady I’ve ever had the privilege of getting to know…and I mean c’mon this guy is five or six years older than I and these girls wer 16 and 14 at the time anyone with half a brain could se he has a problem….and I mean no disrespect because a ministry was ruined a family was destroyed and two girls left broken all because he wasn’t bewaring the little foxes…..but if you think after 7 months this girl can’t move on with her life your crazy….oh yea and she is the most beautiful girl on the face of this entire planet…just thought I’d say that

  • Deputy Explorer

    What he did was against the law plain an simple just leave it at that and let it go it’s now in the past. he is sick in the head and needs help and that’s what he is gonna get. He very well could of avoided this but he chose to give into his lusts we have control over everything we do it’s the things we can control it says in the Bible that not controlling this is sin. The fact is he won’t own up to it as his fault is he is arrogant and isn’t asking for forgiveness. It’s truly sad I just hope he owns up and asks for forgiveness soon

  • mk

    All I am saying is it’s STILL AGAINST THE LAW! I’m sure she is still underage… If u go thru a traumatic situation 7months later you don’t put yourself in a situation that could send others to jail being in the ministry or not it won’t matter at that time……. I myself have been a victim I sympathize for these girls but I also know what it takes to heal and move on! I would never want a victim to stay silent just don’t put yourself in a situation! I don’t care how “holy” you are everyone has flesh and desires and could fail at a weak moment.

    • mk

      Sorry i dont have a twisted mind i have a NORMAL mind! What makes me furious is the parents unless they don’t know about the situation but if they do then WOW! you yourself said it’s been 7months and the girls r older now well that don’t make them that much older they are still underage I don’t care if this guy is only 20 years old he is still of age I know 18 year Olds that have went to jail for this… What this guy Ryan did was totally wrong and I am so thankful this was brought to light and I pray he does change and will ask for forgiveness he is being punished now and I just don’t wanna see the devil get him another prey…

    • veryaware

      I don’t understand how talking on the phone and being friends is against the law. And if you want to get technical Ryan did not get in trouble with this girl because of her age he got in trouble because he was her youth pastor. At her age law states that she has the right to chose what age she has a relationship (not that I agree with it) but it is what the law states. So even if there was more at this time with this young man it would not be against the law. But as for right now it is only two friends talking on the phone. So I don’t know what your phone conversation are like but there does not always have to be more to it then just friends.

  • DB

    Listen I’m not on this website to argue I just said the truth and how it is…this girl is a great girl and I know that to be truth…and let me just say me and this girl talking is not against the law that’s a fact….our situation is completely different….we put ourselves in a position to fail I don’t care if I was perusing a girl younger than me or older I wouldn’t hang out with that person alone that’s just my conviction…this is the last post I’m putting on here these girls have bin through enough embarrassment and heartache and this is definitely not helping anyone to move on…

  • Anonymous user

    What i don’t get is how iowa’s consensual law is 16 and above when it should be 18 and over this guys is lucky that the law is completely different because I the law was in fact 18 and over he would be on two charges of statutory rape but it’s not considered that in his charges which is weird especially since one of the girls was 14 at the time. But I hope they change these laws it would help crack down on other serious offenders. I wish I could help catch these people now to bad I’m not of age yet

  • User

    Stop arguing! It’s done and in the past granted it’s weird that the girl you’re talking about is dating an older guy even though it’s been what 7-8 months which honestly is too soon for a relationship but that’s just my thought it’s ultimately up to her parents who they allow her to date till she’s 18 and granted Ddaddyfresh does make you sound bad and look bad especially for a Christian.

  • ta

    I Will argue if I want to argue and I don’t care what anyone thinks about it! I also don’t care if I’m not up to your standards as to what you think a Christian should sound like! I don’t pray to you! I learned along time ago, growing in the Pentecostal religion not to give two hoots what the hollier than thow’s think because they are the first ones that will run innocent People off from the church when they themselves are full of hypocrisy.! You are also missing the fact that they talk on the phone living twelve hours away from each other. Figure it out, it’s not rocket science! “DDADDYFRESH” you keep calling yourself that because God loves honesty and he wants us to come to him as we are. It’s the luke warms that he will spue out of his mouth and those that hide who they really are! With that being said you can call me “Mmommafresh”!

  • concernedcitizen

    To mommafresh, put your self in the other shoes…If this was your daughter and this had just happened to your daughter would you want her talking to another man? That was evidently several years older? And to “daddyfresh” I don’t think it would speak too highly of your “ministry” to be speaking, courting, really “liking” a girl that had allowed herself to get it this position… yes she’s a victim, but if she is showing interest in another older young man (early 20s) than I would think there should be extreme caution to be taken here. Especially if you’re truly concerned about funding a woman that is going to be an asset to your ministry… be careful!

  • User

    You must have it all figured out huh ta? I’m here as a peacekeeper leave it alone arguing just makes it worse! If you want to argue go argue on a different forum. And to you concerned citizen I agree with you I agree with a lot of things on here except the fact people actually believe it’s the girls fault. Anyone that’s on here needs to have wisdoms before you open your mouth or in technology terms before you type. Don’t be ignorant on here or arrogant. Fact is in sure most of us on here are Christians and you wonder why the country is in the state it’s in. Because people are so arrogant and blind because they continue “beating around the bush” on stupid things that are in the past. I may not be as wise or “experienced” as you “older” people are on here but when Christians bicker and argue over stupid stuff It makes me sick. If you can’t stay on topic on here why are you on here writing stupid stuff that has nothing to do about the topic? If you want to argue take your argument somewhere else we don’t need to be here waiting our time bickering and whatnot when we could be saving people from hell. I’ll never understand why people do stupid stuff only God knows the true reason. I won’t be on here again so heed these words. STOP ARGUING. And go save a soul from being sent to hell. P.S. To those who aren’t arguing on here thank you for not.

    • ta

      Lol, I am so on the correct forum. Evidently you didn’t understand me when I said that I Will argue if I want to! Last time I checked none of you pay my bills so I’m not concerned with your thoughts of me,or what I do, and say! Last time I checked this was a public forum. I’ve also noticed that your on here commenting! Oh! Right! That’s the do as I say, and not as I do type of garbage. Plz You can miss me with all that! By the way it’s not up to anyone to decide who is the right woman for a ministry. Here’s another piece of wisdom and knowledge for ya, seeing as you know so much! When a woman marries a man that is in the ministry it becomes her ministry as well. It’s not his ministry, it’s their ministry!

  • ta

    Something else I have on my mind. In reading the news coverage about this case, there is more than one victim here! He was on the prowl the night his wife was at the hospital in labor with their child. This is what was put out there for the public to read! Then you have comments being posted in reference to one of the victims trying to point something out bad about her. Then on top of that you try and comment that your not turning the victim into the predictor. It certainly seems like a situation of guilt transference to me! How’s that for staying on topic! Care to elaborate!

  • God'sNotDead

    Hey “Mmommafresh” as you prefer to be called I’ll elaborate for “User” here. How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? (Job 6:25

  • ta

    Yeah that just made allot of sense! You can save your bible verses. I know more of the bible than probably yourself. Was raised in Pentecostal all my life. That doesn’t impress me much and I’m sure it doesn’t impress the Lord either. I could quote scripture all day long myself if I wanted to. You know, to try and make others think I’m really that holy! Good grief!

  • matilda

    What kind of girl let’s a married man suck on her neck and go back for more? A good one? He makes a pass at the mom? And she still let’s her daughter be around him? SERIOUSLY PEOPLE??????????

  • ta

    What kind of man is married and sucks on a young girls neck? What kind of youth pastor makes passed at the girl and her mother? What kind of husband and father is out there on the prowl when his wife is giving birth to their child? SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!!!

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