UPDATE 3/27/13 @ 11:15 a.m.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Standing in a courtroom before members of his congregation, a former pastor was sentenced to 15 years in prison for multiple counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
Wednesday morning, David Young pleaded guilty to 15 counts of a 20-count indictment during a hearing in Gallia County Common Pleas Court.
Young was the pastor at Simpson United Methodist Church in Rio Grande, Ohio. He was arrested in October 2012.
Prosecutors said the victim was a teenager, between 13 and 14-years-old, who knew Young through a class he taught at the church.
The family of the victim was not in court Wednesday, but Young did apologize to them.
"I'm very sorry for the circumstances that have brought us here today. I'm sorry to the family involved, the fact that I failed to protect when asked to, I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry to my family and my friends, my church, my students and their parents," said Young
Young refused comment after sentencing, but we did speak to several people who attended his church, along with a fellow pastor.
Pastor Jack Hughes says Young was in a position of trust that he violated.
"The sad part of it is a man is out in that position of trust and people have confidence and put their children in that position with him and any pastor for that matter and then to betray that trust is heartbreaking," said Hughes.
Assistant Prosecutor Britt Wiseman said he was pleased that Young pleaded guilty to save the victim from having to testify.
Pastor David A. Young, of Simpson Chapel United Methodist Church in Rio Grande, Ohio, was arraigned Monday morning in Gallia County.
Young was arrested Oct. 16 in connection with the charges.
The alleged victim is a teenager between the ages of 13 and 14-years-old who knew Young as part of a class that Young taught through the church.
Young entered a plea of not guilty to all 20 counts. Bond was set at $250,000 and Young is not to have any contact with the victim.
Assistant Prosecutor Britt Wiseman had request a bond of $500,000 because of the numerous counts. Wiseman said the incidents happened over a period of 1 year -- between September 25, 2011 and September 25, 2012.
A few members of the congregation were in the courtroom in support of their pastor. Tom Weaver was one member and says the church is going through a time of difficult healing.
"This is just a real tough situation for the whole community, it’s just something you read about in other newspapers outside of Gallia County but we still have much to do and we're going to move on," said Weaver.
While in court, Young stated he could not make bond, and will remain behind bars until his next court hearing.
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His name is still on the church marquee, where he's the pastor in Rio Grande, Ohio.
Young was arrested Tuesday at the Simpson Chapel United Methodist Church. He's accused of sexually assaulting a teenager between the ages of 13 and 14-years-old during a class he taught through the church.
The arrest came from agents with the Crimes Against Children Unit, which is part of the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation. That unit assisted deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff's Office.
"With the change today, in budgets, that local law enforcement agencies are having with budgets," says Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "They rely on us more and more to come in and help."
Pastor David Young was arrested Tuesday at Simpson Chapel United Methodist Church, where he is the pastor, in Rio Grande, Ohio.
The pastor is charged with one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 22.
The Gallia County Sheriff's Department and the Crimes Against Children Unit of the Ohio Attorney General's office aided each other in this investigation.
Young remains in the Gallia County jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.
Police believe there may be more than one victim.
The news is really hitting home for church members at Simpson Chapel United Methodist.
"It's a beautiful church, and it has a lot of beautiful people in it," said Ginny Showalter of Rio Grande, Ohio.
Showwalter is still proud to call herself a member. She's just ashamed of what her pastor's accused of doing.
"It's very shocking," she told WSAZ.com. "I think it's a criminal situation for our membership. They do not deserve to be disgraced like this."
David Young was arrested Tuesday at the church in Rio Grande. He is charged with unlawful sexual conduct of a minor. Investigators with the state's Crimes Against Children Unit say Pastor Young is accused of sexually assaulting a teenager -- who was 13 or 14 at the time -- and was part of a class the pastor taught through the church.
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning says the Ohio Attorney General's office is investigating if there may be more victims out there.
"We're hoping to get to the bottom of what happened with them," the sheriff said. "But also, if there are any other victims out there, we want to find that out, as well."
Investigators wouldn't comment on how often the alleged abuse happened or where it may have taken place.
Showalter and her adult daughter are probably like most folks at the church, still in disbelief over the whole thing.
"If you do something and somebody doesn't believe in you anymore, it's just very hard to get it back," Diane Clark said while chatting with her mother on her family's front porch.
Young's case will be presented to the next grand jury in Gallia County.
According to a press release from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, agents with the Crimes Against Children Unit, which is part of the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, assisted deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff's Office in the arrest of David Young Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators took Young into custody at the Simpson Chapel United Methodist Church in Rio Grande, Ohio, where he is the pastor.
According to the release, Young is accused of sexually assaulting a teenager between the ages of 13 and 14 who was part of a class he taught through the church.
"These allegations are extremely distressing because Ohioans should be able to trust people in positions of authority," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "We will go to all lengths necessary to hold those who commit crimes against children accountable."
Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins officially filed the felony charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor against Young Wednesday afternoon. The case will now head to a grand jury.
Authorities are not commenting on the frequency of the alleged abuse or the locations where the incidents may have taken place, according to the release. Investigators, however, are warning the community that there could be other victims.
"These are very serious allegations, and we urge anyone with additional information to come forward," said Gallia County Sheriff Joseph Browning. "We are thankful to the Attorney General and the agents with Bureau of Criminal Investigation who quickly took action to help us investigate these allegations of abuse."
Young is currently in the Gallia County Jail.
Anyone with additional information regarding David Young can contact the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446) or the Gallia County Sheriff's Office at 740-446-1221.
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