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Alabama Pastor Released After Serving One-Third of Prison Sentence

Pleaded guilty in 2015 to rape, sexual abuse, other charges

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An Alabama pastor and Christian school principal in prison for sexually assaulting children was released May 19 after serving just five and a half years of a 15-year sentence.

Mack Charles Andrews Jr., 61, was arrested in October of 2013 on multiple counts of rape, sexual abuse, attempted rape, sodomy, and sexual torture involving at least nine minors, per AL.com, and pleaded guilty in November 2015.

Andrews had served as a pastor at Thomasville’s First United Pentecostal Church and an assistant principal at the church’s school, Faith Christian Academy, in the 1980s and ’90s.

The abuse came to light at a child custody trial in 2013, when one of his victims, who was trying to regain the rights to one of her children, described being assaulted by Andrews, getting the attention of law enforcement.

The victim, Shay Walker, said he attacked her numerous times, including raping her on her father’s grave, and that the incidents had left her with emotional scars.

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Walker had declined to participate in Andrews’ subsequent trial. Four other victims agreed to the plea deal so they would not have to testify.

Andrews asked for reconsideration of his sentence in January 2020, asserting that the stress of his arrest and lack of medical treatment for his “uncontrollable diabetes” had led him to sign the plea agreement.

He received credit for the two years he was in jail awaiting trial and also was credited for “good time”—having no infractions while incarcerated—before being released with no parole. He will be required to register as a sex offender.

Although Walker said she heard Andrews and his son planned to move to Texas to start a new church, Andrews’ daughter said he would be required to stay in Alabama because of his status as a sex offender.

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Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.