Former church pastor Torrey Morgan appears in court with attorney

Former High Rock Community Church East campus pastor Torrey Morgan spent less than half an hour in court Tuesday morning for his first appearance. Morgan, 36, of Salisbury, is accused of having inappropriate relationships with high school students. He appeared in district court with his attorney, Ryan Stump of Charlotte.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Morgan on Friday with two felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, felony second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, misdemeanor disseminating harmful material to a minor under 18 and felony disseminating harmful material to a minor under 16.

He did not speak in court and did not speak following court. He and his attorney quickly left the Rowan County courthouse following the court proceedings.

Morgan had been heading the church’s east campus at Bringle Ferry Road. Church officials said last week they received information accusing Morgan of inappropriate relationships. Church leaders discovered a text message sent to an adult woman that they felt crossed the line. The text messages did not contain sexual content. In talking with Morgan, church leaders determined “his story was inconsistent and that led to other admissions of inappropriate contact,” Dr. Tom Bartlett, a leader at the church, said.

Church officials contacted law enforcement when they learned the inappropriate contact involved teenagers. Law enforcement officials have said the complaints were from teenage members of the church and involved allegations of sexual activity and advances made by Morgan. He was terminated by church leadership after they conducted their own internal investigation. Morgan is scheduled for a probable causing hearing Aug. 28.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: Facebook:

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