Court rejects ex-youth pastor’s bid for release

(WLFI Photo, file)
(WLFI Photo, file)

HARTFORD CITY, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a bid for early release by a former youth pastor convicted of having a sexual relationship with a teenage congregation member.

Thirty-three-year-old Joseph Pennington was sentenced to eight years in prison last year after he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor.

The Hartford City man had asked the state appeals court to reduce his sentence, release him from prison and place him on electronic home detention for six years.

But The Star Press reports the court rejected Pennington’s argument that his sentence was “inappropriate.”

In rejecting Pennington’s appeal, the court cited previously unreleased information, including that he and the teenage girl engaged in a sex act while riding in a church van with Pennington’s then-wife also on board.

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