Former Indiana pastor admits to having sex with 16-year-old church member

Jack Schaap faces 10 years in prison

HAMMOND, Ind. -  

The former pastor of a northwestern Indiana megachurch admitted to having sex with a 16-year-old girl, but told a judge he didn't realize at the time that his actions were illegal.

Jack Schaap, 54, of Dyer, told a federal judge Wednesday that he first had sex with the girl when she was 16.

The girl was a member of First Baptist Church, where Schaap was previously the pastor.

Schaap pleaded guilty to a charge of taking a minor across state lines for sex. He faces the possibility of 10 or more years in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 15.

Schaap's plea deal also calls for him to register as a sex offender.

Schaap was fired in July by church officials. His former congregation has about 15,000 members.

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