Missouri pastor stole more than $21,000 from church to pay hush money to young mistress: police
Ralph Sawyer (KDSK)

A Missouri pastor is accused of stealing more than $21,000 from his church to pay off his 20-year-old mistress.

Ralph Sawyer was charged with a felony count of theft after prosecutors said he ripped off money from Lindsay Lane Missionary Baptist Church in Florissant, where he served as a pastor, reported KSDK-TV.

Prosecutors said the church treasurer discovered money missing from the congregation's savings account and launched an investigation -- which revealed Sawyer had used his church-issued ATM card to make 35 withdrawals in June and July totaling $21,727.50.

The 30-year-old Sawyer resigned Aug. 11 and turned himself in to police Sept. 1.

Police said Sawyer admitted to beginning an extramarital affair with the woman in March, and he began paying her to keep quiet about the relationship after she began asking for money.

Sawyer, who goes by "Drew," remains held on a $25,000 cash-only bond.

Watch this video report posted online by KDSK-TV: