Feds: Ex-pastor Jack Schaap told girl Jesus Christ approved of tryst

Man expected to be sentenced Thursday

INDIANAPOLIS - The former pastor of a northwestern Indiana mega church awaiting sentencing for a sexual relationship with an underage parishioner allegedly told the girl Jesus Christ approved of their tryst.

Federal prosecutors included letters former First Baptist Church pastor Jack Schaap wrote to his victim in their sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday in federal court in Hammond.

The Times of Munster reported that Schaap, 55, wrote in the one letter to the then-16-year-old girl that their relationship "is exactly what Christ desires for us."

Schaap was fired by the 15,000-member Hammond church in July and later pleaded guilty to taking a minor across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. He had led the church since 2001.

He's scheduled to be sentenced Thursday morning and is seeking the minimum 10-year sentence under his conviction.

Schaap previously told a judge that he didn't realize at the time that his relationship with the girl was illegal.

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