by Dan Savage
on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM
SOUTH CAROLINA: "The former youth pastor of a South Carolina church was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday after he was convicted of having sex with a teen girl. In February 2011, 38-year-old Stephen Berry, of Jonesville, was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.... New Life Baptist Church, in Union, said that Berry resigned from his position as associate pastor on February 2, 2011. The church said it had never received any complaints about Berry before these allegations. About a month after his first arrest, Berry was jailed a second time and charged with lewd act on a minor. Prosecutors said that charge is still pending."
TEXAS: "A former youth minister convicted on child pornography charges apologized to his victims and his family Friday before being sentenced to 30 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervision. Joe Tapia III, 47, read his apology in front of U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo as his family, including his wife and son, watched from the gallery.... While serving as youth minister at San Jose Catholic Church, Tapia admitted, he recorded video and took photos of two children while they were changing clothes before a church performance. He used those images to solicit other sexually explicit images of children."
OHIO: "Bail of $100,000 cash or surety was set Wednesday for a youth pastor charged with felony sexual battery involving a 15-year-old girl. Michael D. Mohler, 26, of Dogwood Drive in Monroe Twp. is accused of an inappropriate relationship with a girl and sexual conduct in August, Troy police and Miami County sheriff’s deputies said. He was identified as “Mic” Mohler, resident pastor, on the First United Methodist Church, Troy, Web site.... Detectives reported Mohler said he became involved with the girl through the church and began mentoring her when she came to him for advice about her boyfriend."