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.
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.
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.
Partner Station WMSR