Ex-church youth leader from Hartford City charged with sexual misconduct with a minor

Man directed student ministries

HARTFORD CITY, Ind. - A former church youth leader has been arrested on accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Joseph Pennington, 32, who previously directed the student ministries at the Hartford Wesleyan Church in Hartford City, was arrested over the weekend on three felony charges.

Pennington is accused of engaging in misconduct with a child between the ages of 14 and 16 in 2010 and 2011, according to court documents.

Prosecutors declined to make any further statement about the case.

The Rev. Tom Parsons, the church's senior pastor, told RTV6 that he met with Pennington and dismissed him shortly after he learned of the accusations.  

"The congregation of Hartford City Wesleyan is brokenhearted on so many fronts. One of our part-time staff members has made a regrettable choice which has resulted in tragic consequences," Parsons said in a statement. "Though our greatest concern is for the offended party, we will continue to love the accused and seek ways to walk with all who are involved."    

Pennington's initial hearing is scheduled for later this month.
 

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