HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — The former pastor of a northwestern Indiana megachurch awaiting sentencing for a sexual relationship with an underage parishioner allegedly told the girl Jesus Christ approved of their tryst.
Federal prosecutors included letters former First Baptist Church pastor Jack Schaap wrote to his victim in their sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday in federal court in Hammond.
The Times of Munster reports the 55-year-old Schaap wrote in the one letter to the 17-year-old girl that their relationship "is exactly what Christ desires for us."
Schaap was fired by the 15,000-member Hammond church in July and later pleaded guilty to taking a minor across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
He's scheduled to be sentenced Thursday morning and is seeking the minimum 10-year sentence under his conviction.
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The Boone County Sheriff's Office says a crash closed State Road 39 on Friday morning.
A family of five was uninjured after a house fire on the city's east side early Friday morning.
Police dispatchers in Morgan County say a crash closed both directions of Mann Road on Friday morning.