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Former Youth Pastor Won’t Serve Time for Impregnating Teen He Then Married

A former Alabama youth pastor will not serve time for impregnating a 14-year-old he later married after making a plea deal that downgraded charges against him from second-degree rape, a felony that could have resulted in a 20-year prison sentence, to a misdemeanor.

Jason Greathouse was 24 and a youth pastor at a local church in Enterprise, Alabama when he moved into the home of Ashley Pereira’s parents in 2008 and began a sexual relationship with the girl, WTVY-TV reported.

Pereira (her current name) became pregnant, and the couple married at the urging of her parents and had the child together. The couple divorced in 2009, per WTVY.

Pereira formally accused her former husband of rape in 2020.

The plea deal came after the Coffee County District Attorney’s office said there were extenuating circumstances in the case, specifically a dispute over custody rights for the child, who is now a teenager, that “very likely could have resulted in a mistrial or even a not guilty [verdict] by jury nullification,” as AL.com reported.

As part of the agreement, Greathouse, currently a resident of Hendersonville, Tennessee, will serve a one-year suspended sentence and unsupervised probation, and will not have to register as a sex offender.

He also is forbidden from having contact with Pereira, who also now lives in Tennessee, except in matters regarding their child.

Pereira said she was angered by the plea deal and equated Greathouse’s punishment to that which would be given to someone “buying beer for a minor.”

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Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.