Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catholic Pastor Sentenced on Sexual Abuse Charges


The former pastor of Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Lexington was sentenced to one year in prison Friday in a sexual abuse case.

Father Joseph N. Muench entered an Alford plea in March to one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment and one count of first-degree criminal attempt to commit sexual abuse.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate sentenced Muench to one year on each of the two counts contained in his plea agreement against him. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Three individual instances of sexual misconduct are alleged to have occurred during Muench’s tenure as associate pastor at Good Shepherd Parish, Frankfort, where he served from 1984 to 1986. At the time, the parish belonged to the Diocese of Covington. The Lexington diocese was established in March, 1988.

Church Youth Leader Sentenced for Statutory Rape


A former youth leader with Real Life Ministries in Post Falls has been sentenced to six years in prison on three counts of statutory rape.

Jordan Vernon received two years fixed prison time and four years "indeterminate" to run consecutively on each of the three rape charges. However the judge presiding over the case retained jurisdiction which means Vernon could be eligible for probation in as little as six months.

Vernon was removed from his volunteer position with Real Life Ministries in 2008 after allegations of inappropriate behavior first surfaced. Post Falls Police say they found pictures on MySpace with Vernon engaged in sexual activities with a 14-year-old girl. Vernon also had sex with a 17-year-old church member and tried to lure a 12-year-old girl.

He will serve his sentence in Cottonwood, Idaho.

Pastor Sentenced for Sexting with 15-year Old Girl


An associate pastor at a northern Dakota County church was sentenced Tuesday to 32 days in jail after he sent sexual text messages to a 15-year-old girl over whom he held a "position of trust."

Jeffrey A. Mobley, 33, of Cottage Grove, an associate pastor who oversaw youth activities, had also hugged and grabbed the buttocks of the girl in March 2008, according to court documents.

Mobley was sentenced in Dakota County District Court to 32 days in jail and ordered to register as a sex offender for fourth-degree sexual assault.

Church Deacon Guilty of Threatening Fellow Deacon With Knife


The dueling deacons of Newport News were in court today after Deacon Hurley Jones pulled a knife on a fellow deacon at a church meeting.

Jones was convicted of assault, but will not go to jail.

Deacon Hurley Jones walked free after being found guilty of assault.

The man convicted of wielding a knife at Wesley Grove United Church of Christ walked calmly from the courtroom.

"There is peace in the church, there always has been," said Deacon Hurley Jones as he walked out of court.

But there is no peace, according to today's testimony. All the deacons who testified said they witnessed the assault. They also agreed that Jones pulled a knife, but all could not agree whether it was a switchblade, which is against the law, or an ordinary pocket knife.

That distinction dropped one concealed weapons charge, but he was still convicted on assault - still a good day for defense attorney Ron Smith.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pastor Convicted of Tax Evasion


The pastor of a North Carolina church and his wife have been convicted on federal income tax evasion charges.

Multiple media outlets reported that Anthony Jinwright of the Greater Salem City of God church and his wife were convicted of a number of charges Monday night in Charlotte.

Fifty-three-year-old Anthony Jinwright was convicted of 13 of the 18 charges against him, including conspiracy, tax evasion and filing false tax returns. He faces up to 53 years in prison.

Fifty-year-old Harriet Jinwright was convicted of four of the 13 charges against her, including conspiracy and tax evasion. She could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors accused the couple of failing to report about $1.8 million of the $5 million they received from the church over five years.

Youth Pastor Sentenced For Sex With Minor


A former Rocklin youth pastor has been sentenced Wednesday in connection with having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl who went to his church.

Lincoln resident Jeffery Allen Waisner, 33, will need to register as a sex offender for life and will be on parole for three years after he's released from state prison, the Placer County District Attorney's Office said.

Waisner, who served at Crossroads Community Church, was convicted of engaging in lewd and lascivious acts with a minor after he entered a plea of no contest earlier this year.

"This sick perpetrator not only stole my daughter's innocence, her trust and her faith in God, he has caused her emotional damage that will scar her for a lifetime," the girl's mother testified in court.

Waisner is married and has three children, according to the office.

The mother told the court during the sentencing that Waisner convinced the girl that he loved her and said he would leave his wife and children for her.

Catholic Priest Sentenced for Rape of Elderly Woman


An 86-year-old priest has been sentenced to five years' probation for forcing an elderly woman to perform a sex act in a Central Texas church rectory.

The Rev. Stephen Valenta was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest to a felony charge of injury to the elderly. The plea means he didn't admit guilt but didn't contest the charge.

His attorney Chris Gunter said Valenta will remain in a monastery-type home for priests during his probation and can't leave unless someone goes with him.

Valenta's sexual assault charge was dropped as part of the plea deal. The incident happened in 2008 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rockdale , about 50 miles northeast of Austin .

Pastor Sentenced for Exposing Himself


A former pastor for the Church of God of Prophecy was sentenced on Monday to serve 90 days in jail for exposing himself on a Web camera to an undercover police officer who was posing as a minor last year.

William J. Blanscet, 68, was charged in May with four counts of third-degree felony dealing in material harmful to a minor, each punishable by up to five years in prison.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree felony dealing in material harmful to a minor in January.

Third District Judge Robin Reese on Monday sentenced him to serve 90 days in jail.

According to court documents, Blanscet was online in a chat room when he began to ask sexually explicit questions to an investigator with the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who was posing as a young girl.

During other online conversations, Blanscet showed his genitals and would masturbate in front of a Web camera, according to charges. One incident where Blanscet exposed himself occurred while he used the Internet while visiting his wife in the hospital, charges state.

Blanscet resigned from the Salt Lake City church in May, a week before charges were filed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Methodist Teacher Sentenced For Sexual Assault Of Pre-School Girl


A teenager who sexually assaulted a 4-year-old at a preschool will spend the next 18 years in prison.

Andrew C. Glidwell, 19, of Hendersonville, plead guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual battery. He was sentenced to nine years to serve at 100 percent for each count, which will run consecutively.

The guilty plea comes less than a month before the case was scheduled to go to trial.

“I think it is a very good resolution to this case,” said Ray Whitley, 18th Judicial District Attorney. “The family was very interested in having their daughter not have to testify at the trial.”

Glidwell was a part-time teacher at the First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville’s Children First program, where the crimes occurred. According to the prosecution, Glidwell approached the girl on three separate occasions while the she was sleeping to make sexual advances.

Christian Man Sentenced For Sexual Abuse Of Teen Girl


A judge on Wednesday sentenced a Washburn man to 17 years in prison with five years suspended for sexually abusing a girl.

Justice Kevin Cuddy sentenced Eric A. Ericson, 57, on a charge of gross sexual assault. He handed down a concurrent five-year prison term for a charge of unlawful sexual contact.

Cuddy also gave Ericson a five-year concurrent sentence on a charge of sexual abuse of a minor. He will be required to register as a sex offender. The abuse occurred in the town of Wade in Aroostook County.

A jury found Ericson guilty last week after a three-day trial in Aroostook County Superior Court in Caribou, according to Aroostook County Assistant District Attorney Todd Collins. The jury deliberated for about an hour before rendering the verdict.

Collins said Wednesday that the victim, who is not related to Ericson, testified she was 11 years old when the abuse began. She told the court that Ericson had sex with her and forced her to touch him and that he also touched her.

“There was not much that he did not do to this victim,” Collins said.

Collins said the gross sexual assault and the unlawful sexual contact occurred between March 2003 and June 2005, when the victim was under 14. The sexual abuse took place between June 2005 and March 2006, when the victim was 14.

Ericson also addressed the court. He called himself a Christian and said he did not commit the crimes he was convicted of.

After Ericson spoke, Collins called him “cold, calculating, heartless and emotionless.” He also told the judge that Ericson had been charged with kidnapping his own children in 1987 and also was charged with sexual assault in Nebraska. Collins told the judge Ericson had not been convicted of those charges. He said outstanding warrants were issued for Ericson's arrest for crimes allegedly committed in several states and in Canada. Ericson lived in Texas before coming to Maine, Collins said.

Since Ericson has not been convicted of those crimes, Cuddy did not consider them in his sentencing.
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