Man accused of raping teen inside church; neighbors ‘appalled’

Posted at 10:15 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 22:15:30-04

SEDALIA, Mo. -- Horrified community members are speaking out after a man allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl inside a Missouri Baptist church, according to police.

Travis Clunie, 25, is now charged with second degree rape and statutory rape.

Clunie first denied having sex with the teenage girl, but later, during an interview, he admitted to a detective that he had sex with the teen a few months ago, according to a criminal complaint.

The girl told investigators the sexual assaults took place during youth meetings at New Hope Baptist Church.

“It's sad really and I'm just appalled by it,” said Terry Zaremba, who lives around the corner from the church. “It makes me mad because I have a 16-year-old granddaughter and I wouldn't want that to go on in her church.”

Court papers further reveal the girl told detectives Clunie had sex with her on two separate occasions, once in an upstairs bathroom, and in another room at the church.

“She told Clunie no several times and tried to leave the bathroom, but she told police Clunie blocked the door and she later saw it was locked,” according to the complaint.

New Hope's pastor said that Clunie is not a member of his church, but recently visited with a relative.

“That shouldn't happen, you know, in God's house, that's just sad,” said Zaremba.

While investigating the 15-year-old girl's claims, a 21-year-old woman came forward and told police Clunie sodomized her at Katy Park several months before, according to prosecutors. He was subsequently charged in that case as well.

Clunie is being held on a pair of $100,000 bonds, and will make court appearances for both cases on May 12 according to online records.