A former youth pastor from Lancaster County was convicted of sexually assaulting two teenagers following a jury trial last week.
A jury in Pennsylvania has convicted a 55 year old former youth pastor from Lancaster County after he sexually assaulted two minor victims from 2008 to 2011. Shane Ernest Richardson was found guilty of aggravated indecent assault of a person aged less than 16 years old, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, and indecent assault of a person younger than 16. The trial lasted for four days before Lancaster County Judge David Ashworth and the jury deliberated for four hours before announcing a verdict on June 9.
Richardson's two victims reported his child sex abuse crimes to the Manheim Township Police Department Officer Troy Hikins in January 2021, Crimewatch reported. The victims said they were assaulted by the former youth pastor while they lived at his residence after their parents divorced and lost their home. Richardson was a friend of the victims' family. At the time of the child sex abuse, the victims were between 13 to 17 years old, while Richardson was about 42 to 44.
Sex Abuse Charges Filed Against Former Youth Pastor
Richardson was reportedly self-employed at the time of his arrest, but had previously worked as a youth pastor in a church in North Carolina, PennLive reported. Assistant District Attorney Amy Muller said in the statement that the former youth pastor "gained the trust of a family by taking [the victims] in and then violated that trust by sexually abusing them."
LNP Lancaster Online reported that based on the criminal complaint, Richardson was accused of "inappropriately touching one of the girls while sitting on the couch watching television," "climbing into bed" and then "spooning" and "inappropriately touching" one of the girls, climbing into bed while both girls were sleeping, lying between them, and inappropriately touching one of them.
Muller, who prosecuted the case, told the jury that they did not need any further evidence. If it believed the child sex abuse victims, the former youth pastor was guilty. Charges were filed against Richardson by Manheim Township Police Department Detective Scott Dierwechter.
Former Youth Pastor in Ohio Given Four-Year Prison Sentence
Richardson is not the only former youth pastor facing punishment for his child sex abuse crimes. In Cleveland, Ohio, a former youth pastor admitted to a judge that he began sexually abusing a 14 year old girl after he thought she was his wife, Cleveland.com reported. The child sex abuse continued on for more than two years. On Thursday, 47 year old David Walker was sentenced by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Ashley Kilbane to more than four years in prison. The judge also required him to register as a sex offender.
Kilabane told Walker, "You took away her youth, her faith probably at some point, and manipulated her belief in God for your own sexual desires."
Walker previously preached at Church Alive International in Cleveland, as well as at The Dwelling Place Family Worship Center in North Olmsted. In March, he pleaded guilty to six counts of attempted sexual battery and one count of endangering children related to several incidents of sexual abuse that took place from 2003 to 2007. Walker's wife, Anna, also pleaded guilty to one count of assault and one count of endangering children after she admitted she participated in one sexual abuse incident when the girl was 17 years old.
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