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Former Indiana Youth Pastor Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Child Molestation

A former Indiana youth pastor has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for molesting pre-teen boys who participated in a church youth group he led.

Scott Christner, 46, who led The Olympians at First Baptist Church in Goshen, was charged with 10 felony counts of child molestation and two felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Five victims had accused Christner of touching them inappropriately between 2012 and 2019, sometimes at his house, according to court documents. He was initially arrested in November 2019 when the first victim came forward, then released on bond and arrested again when four more victims surfaced.

He pleaded guilty Nov. 4 to felony child molestation charges as part of a plea deal.

Some of the victims’ parents said in police affidavits that Christner had been a trusted member of the church family, and that he lived a “double life, pretending to be a kind, giving man, while also molesting kids,” the Goshen News reported.

Christner was sentenced in Elkhart County Superior Court to three nine-year sentences and ordered to serve 20 years in prison, with seven years suspended.

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Anne Stych

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