Former pastor pleads guilty to incest

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By Becky Metrick

FAYETTEVILLE >> James “Jim” Thomas, 56, pleaded guilty to a charge of incest of a minor on Monday during a call to trial hearing at Franklin County Courthouse. According to court documents, he agreed to spending between 10 and 20 years in prison.

The former pastor of Family Christian Fellowship Church in Fayetteville, whose sermons were erased from the church’s website shortly after the arrest, had been paying the victim for intercourse between February 2009 and July 2013, according to court documents. On Oct. 11 the victim told Trooper Michael Dick of the Pennsylvania State Police, Chambersburg, that she had turned 18 in February 2011 and had performed multiple sexual acts between 50 and 60 times for money.

Troopers interviewed Thomas on Oct. 15, and he admitted that he had consensual sex with the victim in exchange for money at least 25 times. He said she must have been between 17 and 18 years old when it started.

Thomas will be sentenced on May 7 for the second-degree felony charge of incest with a minor. The charges of felony incest, corruption of minors, promote prostitution-encourage prostitution, promote prostitution-encourage a minor and one charge of misdemeanor corruption of minors were dropped in the plea agreement.


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