Bedford County Youth Minister pleads guilty to Statutory Rape

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A former Bedford County youth minister pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure late last week. Joseph Todd Neill, 38, agreed to serve a sentence of four years at 30 percent, with both counts to be served concurrently.

That sentence will also be served concurrent with the federal sentence Neill received in July -- three years, four months for a single charge of possessing child pornography.

Two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor (possessing child porn) were dismissed in a Bedford County court as part of the local plea deal.

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As part of Neill's federal plea deal, he admitted to initiating a sexual relationship on more than two occasions with a minor who was a member of the church where he was a youth minister.

During the investigation of the statutory rape charges, Shelbyville police seized Neill's cell phone and found 72 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

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He also was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release in the federal case, during which time he must participate in a program of sex offender mental health treatment.

Source:

Partner Station WMSR
Shelbyville Times-Gazette

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