A well-known pastor in Indiana was recently convicted of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl from his church and was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison. The underage victim said that the pastor had taken advantage of her during counseling sessions and that they had sexual relations many times, including during visits to other states.
The pastor pleaded guilty to his charge of one count of transporting a minor across state lines for sexual relations. The pastor admitted to having a sexual relationship with an underage member of his church after he was fired last summer. The guilty plea led to the pastor being sentenced to 12 years in prison, which is actually two years longer than what was recommended by state prosecutors.
By pleading guilty and reaching a plea agreement, the pastor will only face the federal charges because the deal included an agreement with Illinois, Indiana and Michigan to not press additional charges for the sex crimes with a minor.
This case shows just how serious sex crimes are and the federal and state charges that can be filed against individuals who are accused of having sexual relations with an underage person. Being convicted of a sex crime should be taken very seriously as the offender will have to register as a sex offenders and follow other strict requirements for a long time or even the reset of his or her life.
This case is an example of how pleading guilty and reaching a plea agreement can help reduce the time spent in prison as well as other ramifications of being charged with a sex crime. Individuals who have been arrested or charged with a sex crime should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect their rights and discuss the best options for their defense case.
Source: Huffington Post, "Jack Schaap Sentenced: Indiana Pastor Gets 12 Years For Sexual Relationship with Teen Parishioner," March 20, 2013
My law firm represents individuals charged with sex crimes. To learn more about my practice, please visit my sex crimes page.