Daniel Louis Kent (Credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office)

Duluth church volunteer accused of relationship with minor

A now-former volunteer at a Gwinnett County church was arrested this week following allegations that he had sexual encounters with a 16-year-old girl — at both his home and the church.

Daniel Louis Kent, 28, was arrested Monday and charged with four counts of electronic transfer of obscene material to a minor. According to a Duluth Police Department incident report, Kent was a “leader” at First Baptist Church of Duluth when he began communicating with the girl via social media.

Kent requested and received nude photos of the girl, and they also engaged in sexual activity, police said. The alleged relationship began in July and was reported earlier this month.

“[The alleged victim] stated the sexual encounters occurred at church and at Mr. Kent’s residence,” the incident report said.

First Baptist Church of Duluth released a statement Wednesday saying that Kent was immediately removed from his role as a volunteer in the youth department and the church is cooperating with law enforcement during the investigation.

“Our focus right now is on our families affected by this situation,” Pastor Mark Hearn said in the statement.

According to a 2013 engagement announcement published in the Brunswick News, Kent is a 2005 graduate of Brunswick High School and, at the time, was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biblical and theological studies.

Brunswick is on Georgia’s Atlantic coast, not far from St. Simon’s Island and about 40 miles north of the Florida border.

Gwinnett County jail records show Kent was released Tuesday after posting $22,800 bond.

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