Ex-Ind. megachurch pastor seeks minimum sentence - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Ex-Ind. megachurch pastor seeks minimum sentence

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HAMMOND, Ind. (Associated Press) -

The ex-pastor of a northwestern Indiana megachurch says he deserves the minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for his sexual relationship with an underage parishioner because at the time he was under great stress, exhausted and depressed.

An attorney for 55-year-old Jack Schaap of Dyer said in a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday that Schaap was struggling to raise money for the 15,000-member First Baptist Church of Hammond and had been forced to lay off staff. He often worked 100-hour weeks and was being treated for a chronic prostate condition.

Schaap was fired by the church in July and pleaded guilty in September to taking a minor across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

He's scheduled for sentencing Jan. 15 but prosecutors want a delay.

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